Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
By Christine Henderson
Minster Machine Company sold
No change in number of employees planned, Japanese company official says
  MINSTER - A locally-owned manufacturer for more than a century has been sold to a Japanese company.
All outstanding shares of Minster Machine Co. are being acquired by Nidec Shimpo Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nidec Corp. of Kyoto, Japan. A share purchase agreement was signed Monday.
The change will not affect the number of employees at the local plant, Hideaki Matsutani, president of the American division of Nidec Shimpo, said this morning. Minster Machine will be overseen from the Koyoto headquarters, he said.
The effective date of the transaction is expected to be in early April. Terms of the transaction were not released.
Headquartered in Minster, Minster Machine is the third largest employer in Auglaize County, manufacturing industrial stamping presses. It has about 500 employees. Company sales for fiscal 2011 were reported at $118 million.
William Zink, Minster Machine manager of marketing communications, said "nothing will change in operations, management team or employee base." He described Nidec Shimpo as a diverse corporation with only one division similar to what Minster Machine does.
"We all see it as a positive thing," Zink said.
Current Minster Machine owners John and David Winch, descendants from the founders, will remain with the organization.
Minster Machine began as a blacksmith shop in 1896 and is a world premier manufacturer of precision equipment, the company's website states. Anton Herkenhoff and Joseph Dues began a partnership more than 116 years ago as Dues and Herkenhoff Machine Works. Dues sold his shares, and Herkenhoff renamed the business Minster Machine Co. in November 1896. The business was operated by his son, John, and then John's son-in-law, Harold Winch. John Winch assumed the presidency from his father in 1991.
Today, Minster Machine's presses and material handling equipment are used in more than 81 countries around the world.  
"For decades Minster Machine has been a cornerstone of the manufacturing community," Scott Frey, executive director of the Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce, said.
The company has provided good jobs and many contributions to the community, he added.
Nidec is a global technology corporation with annual gross sales of $9 billion, Minster Machine reported.
Following the transaction, Nidec Shimpo aims to increase sales by selling Minster Machine's large-sized press machines through the Asian sales channels of Nidec Shimpo and its division of Nidec-Kyori, according to the company.
Nidec-Kyori's smaller-sized high speed precision press machines will be sold through Minster Machine's sales channels in North and South America and Europe.
The Japanese corporation plans to expand product offerings by using Nidec-Kyori's small-sized high speed precision press technology and Minster Machine's large-sized rigidity precision press technology. The corporation stated it will share manufacturing facilities and equipment with the Minster company.
As a result of the purchase, Nidec officials stated the company is expected to be a more comprehensive precision press machine manufacturer with product offerings ranging from small, high speed to large, rigidity press machines.
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