Koch Industries buys Molex for $7.2 billion
Deal called 'an exciting acquisiton' and a 'new platform for growth'
Molex has always been a family business as it grew from a small firm in suburban Chicago to a global leader in connectors and connection systems. On Sept. 9, it was announced that Molex has switched families.
Molex will be acquired by Koch Industries Inc., a privately held Wichita, Kan.-based company with interests in oil and gas and technology. Its best-known current holding before Molex was Georgia-Pacific.
The $7.2 billion acquisition transfers ownership of Molex from the Krehbiel family to the Koch family, whose principal owners Charles and David Koch are frequently in the news for their interests in political issues.
Founded by Frederick Krehbiel in 1938 as a company which manufactured molded thermoplastics, Molex began as a small company in Lisle, Ill. and grew into a global brand during its history. "After 75 years this was a difficult decision, but our board of directors and our family believe that this transaction, which follows a diligent and thorough review process by the board, provides outstanding benefits for all our stakeholders,” said Fred Krehbiel, co-chairman of the Molex board. “Importantly, our shareholders will receive a significant premium and compelling value for their holdings. The transaction is expected to provide substantial opportunities for our worldwide employees, many of whom have spent much of their working lives at Molex and are responsible for the company's long term success,"
Koch Industries officials said they plan to keep Molex operating as a separate subsidiary of the company, retaining the current management team and headquarters while finding opportunities to leverage company products and innovation in other areas of Koch Industries.
"For our customers and employees, this transaction will allow us to build on Molex's proud past and strengthen us for a powerful future. We are excited to work with Koch to continue our track record of growth and investment in people, innovation and technology," said Martin Slark, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Molex.
Charles Koch, chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, called Molex "An exciting acquisition that matches up well with our culture and our core capabilities. It also provides a significant new platform for growth.
"Molex has become a global leader by focusing on product innovation and value creation, driven by its talented leadership and employees," Koch said. "We look forward to jointly applying the capabilities of our two companies to help take both to the next level."
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
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Read more: 2015 Salary Survey