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WEG buys US motor producer, Bluffton Motor Works

01 April, 2016

The Brazilian motor-maker WEG is buying the US fractional horsepower motor manufacturer, Bluffton Motor Works, for an undisclosed sum. The Indiana-based business – formerly part of Franklin Electric – employs about 400 people and achieved revenues worth $64m in 2015.

Bluffton, founded in 1944, produces motors, gearmotors and reducers in ratings from 0.05–5hp and Nema frame sizes 36, 48 and 56. The portfolio includes open, enclosed and explosion-proof motors, and right-angle and parallel-shaft gearmotors. It also produces washdown-duty motors, including stainless-steel motors with encapsulated windings, and epoxy washdown motors.

In 2012, Bluffton expanded its product line to include right-angle and inline parallel shaft gear reducers when it acquired Ohio-based Toledo Gearmotor. In 2013, it bought RAE DC Products in Illinois, which specialises in in DC motors, gearmotors and controls.

In 2014, Buffton launched a motor aimed at the swimming pool market.

Bluffton Motor Works' headquarters in Indiana covers an area of 37,000 square metres

Until 2006, Bluffton was Franklin Electric’s Engineered Motor Products Division. Franklin sold the business to the private equity firm, CapitalWorks, saying that it was no longer “complementary” to its future growth plans. CapitalWorks recapitalised the business in 2010 and 2014.

Bluffton Motor Works’ CEO David Nussear describes CapitalWorks  as “a great partner”, adding that they “allowed us to build Bluffton and position the company as the dominant domestic manufacturer of fractional horsepower motors. We are equally excited about our new partners at WEG, who are eager to invest in North America.”

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