Kaman Industrial Technologies Corp. (KIT), Bloomfield, Conn., took an expanded stake in the motion control and automation markets with the acquisition of Minarik Corp., Glendale, Calif. Minarik is the largest distributor of motion control equipment in the U.S. The transaction, valued at $39 million, closed on April 30 and Minarik is now part of Kaman's Industrial Distribution Segment.

Minarik, founded in 1952, operates 16 branches in many of the high-tech manufacturing markets in the U.S. and generated sales of approximately $84 million in 2009. The company's offering includes sensors, drives, motors and automation control products focused primarily on the OEM market.

Minarik grew organically and through acquisitions including the purchase of Reserve Motion Systems in 2001; Southwest Controls in 2005; and PAC/Mation and AMPro in 2007.

The combination of Kaman on the power transmission side and Minarik in motion control could be significant for the overall automation and control market, said one observer. “The Minarik purchase by Kaman carries some serious implications,” said Frank Hurtte, president of River Heights Consulting, Davenport, Iowa. “Kaman serves primarily the user MRO market. The addition of Minarik's OEM focus could open new markets. If Kaman and Minarik hit these markets together via some form of coordinated attack, where end user salespeople pass information to the OEM sellers, the market could be vastly affected.”

Minarik positioned the deal as a boost for its growth aspirations. “The acquisition provides Minarik with an outstanding opportunity to continue the expansion that we have experienced over the last ten years,” said John Hegel, president of Minarik. “KIT will help open up additional markets and customers to Minarik and Minarik will bring a high level of motion control expertise to KIT. With Kaman's financial strength Minarik can enhance its national motion control footprint more quickly into key geographic areas and industry segments.”

“As the only national distributor focused on the motion control and automation industries, Minarik is a great strategic fit for Kaman, increasing our geographic footprint and served market,” said Neal Keating, chairman, president and CEO of Kaman Corp., KIT's parent company. “It also increases our scale allowing us to further leverage our existing infrastructure. It will provide a complementary platform upon which we can significantly expand our product breadth, complement our core power transmission product lines, and further differentiate Kaman in the marketplace.”