Niagara Blower, a maker of specialized industrial heat transfer and air conditioning systems that dates to 1904, has been acquired by Sweden-based Alfa Laval.
Niagara Blower will keep its name, its workforce and its local operations, said Peter G. Demakos, Niagara Blower’s president. Alfa Laval acquired the stock of Niagara Blower from its owners, and Demakos will continue to run the business. He has been president since 2003.
The sale price was not disclosed, and Demakos declined to identify the owners who sold the company. Alfa Laval has about 16,000 employees and reported annual sales of about $4.7 billion in 2012. Niagara Blower has about 120 employees and had 2012 revenues of about $65 million.
“The acquisition of Niagara Blower brings in new and complementary heat-transfer products, mainly air-cooled heat exchangers, which further strengthen our offering to the oil- and gas-processing industries,” said Lars Renstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Alfa Laval Group, in a statement. “They strengthen our U.S. portfolio and will gradually also be added to our product offering on a global scale.” Niagara Blower’s technology is used in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and food and beverage. Its systems are deployed around the world.
Niagara Blower is in the midst of expanding into a new location on Sawyer Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda, while also keeping its current home on Ontario Street in Buffalo. Demakos said the expansion continues, along with its plans to add employees. Alfa Laval officials “were very impressed with the Sawyer Avenue facility,” he said.
Alfa Laval has about 16 facilities spread around the United States, with its main U.S. offices in Richmond, Va., said Eric Schuppert, a company spokesman. The Niagara Blower acquisition marks Alfa Laval’s return to New York State; for about 100 years, until 1990, the company had a factory in Poughkeepsie.
Demakos said a number of suitors have approached Niagara Blower over the past two or three years, but he said he wanted a deal in which the buyer was committed to the Buffalo-area operations and its employees. He said Alfa Laval, which first approached the company about a year ago, met those criteria.
“They were interested in Niagara Blower because it was well-run, it was successful and had great customers,” he said.
Schuppert said Alfa Laval likes the way the operations are being run: “We don’t have any plans for changes.”
Niagara Blower previously announced it was investing $5.4 million in the Sawyer Avenue project. Empire State Development supported the expansion by providing up to $800,000 in Excelsior Jobs program tax credits. And the Erie County Industrial Development Agency last month approved $61,250 in sales tax breaks for the company.