Cresco, Iowa-based Featherlite is being purchased by a Cincinnati, Ohio company. Featherlite makes specialty aluminum trailers and luxury coaches. A subsidiary of Universal Trailer Holdings will pay $79 million for Featherlite.
Conrad Clement, the president and C-E-O of Featherlite, says Universal will keep Featherlite’s nine-hundred-90 employees in Cresco and the one-hundred-15 who work at Featherlite’s plant in Shenandoah. Clement claims the deal will create the nation’s premiere trailer company. “We expect Featherlite to benefit from sharing expertise in sister companies within Universal Trainer Corporation. This is expected to further enhance our production capabilities and efficiencies,” Clement says. “Additionally, we expect to be able to buy raw materials for less together and we believe that Featherlite will benefit from its association with a company that has a larger pool of financial resources.”
When Featherlite becomes a “wholly-owned subsidiary,” Clement contends it’ll create the nation’s premier trailer company. “This is a good place to note that Universal plans to retain the Featherlite operations in Cresco and Shenandoah, Iowa, as well as our international network of dealers,” he says.
Universal President Tom Frye added his reassurance to the workers. “This merger-acquisition was analyzed based on growth and creating the largest and strongest specialty-trailer company,” Frye says. “It was not predicated on nor looking at any consolidations and so we expect these facilities to be here and we’re actually very excited about having the capable workforce that we have here in Iowa.”
Featherlite shareholders will receive $6.50 per share. That’s 53 percent above Wednesday’s closing price. Featherlite stockholders and federal regulators have to approve the deal before it’s final. Executives in the two companies expect the deal to be completed by October 31st.