After 52-year run, family-owned company in Moraine finds a buyer

A family-owned company in Moraine that provides specialty tooling and metallurgical services has been sold to an out-of-state buyer in a transaction that closed earlier this month.

Miller Consolidated Industries (MCI), which provides commercial heat treating, black oxide processing, metallurgical testing and steel tooling for the automotive, aviation, government and defense sectors, was purchased by Wilse Inc., an Indiana-based holding company, on Jan. 11.

Provest Inc., a Dayton-based M&A firm that primarily serves lower middle market manufacturers and distributors with $30 million or less in gross revenues, facilitated the transaction.

MCI is comprised of four entities:

  • Quality Steels Corp., its tool steel service center;
  • Metallurgical Services Inc., its heat treating division;
  • Day Met Finishing, its black oxide processing division; and
  • Met Lab, which provides metallurgical testing.

The range and scope of MCI’s services should drive significant value for Wilse’s customers, president Irvin Vanderpohl said.

“It’s tough to find companies that do multiple things well, and (MCI) does that,” Vanderpohl told me. “They’ve got heat treating, steel sales, testing capability for metals and black oxide … We think there’s quite a bit untapped of potential to drive synergies between those organizations.”

MCI is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wilse, with Vandelpohl and his wife operating as the primary owners. Tom Miller, president and chief operating officer of MCI since 2005, plans to retire.

Branding for the company’s existing divisions will be retained, though the MCI name will likely be phased out in the longer term.

Hiring is the next step for Vanderpohl, who said he plans to onboard 20 new MCI employees in Moraine within the next two years. Currently, the company has about 44 local workers.

“They used to have 150 people working there, so we think there’s a lot of potential for growth within those existing facilities,” he said. “If we get to the point where we need to expand out of that, we’ll certainly look at other facilities in the Dayton area.”

Vanderpohl said he plans to fill positions “across the board,” including production jobs, sales, accounting, management and other back-office operations. The long-term goal, he said, is to eventually return the company to its peak workforce.

“I’d love to get back up to 150 people — it’s just going to take a little bit of time to do that,” Vanderpohl said. “As we grow, we’re going to need to duplicate just about every position there.”

Vanderpohl also credited Bob Hochwalt and Aaron Delidow, partners at Provest Inc., for their assistance in facilitating the acquisition.

“Those guys were awesome during this transaction, and I don’t think it would have happened without them,” he said.

Founded in 1969, Miller Consolidated Industries is a family-owned business that provides commercial heating, treating, processing and related metallurgical services for a variety of industries. The company employs about 44 people in Moraine and is headquartered near the I-75/Dryden Road interchange.

DBJ