HBM Holdings (HBM) has announced that it has acquired Schafer Industries (Schafer) of South Bend, Indiana. Schafer is a leading producer of high-precision, custom-engineered gears and machined parts for a wide range of applications, as well as transaxles, brake assemblies and other components for off-road vehicles. The acquisition of Schafer is a continuation of HBM’s long-term strategy to acquire and build market leading manufacturers of industrial products.
“We are thrilled to bring Schafer into our portfolio,” said Mike DeCola, HBM’s CEO. “Schafer’s leadership team has done a remarkable job of growing the company by helping customers solve complex problems. Building on this success, we look forward to further expansion of the business. Schafer is a perfect fit for our model, as the current ownership group is ready to transition the business to reach a new level of capability and success,” continued DeCola.
Founded in 1934, Schafer is a privately held company operating through two vertically integrated divisions: Schafer Gear Works and Schafer Driveline. Schafer Gear Works manufactures gears that power products across a diverse set of markets and custom applications, including aerospace, industrial warehouse equipment, and general transportation applications found in the automotive, agricultural and construction sectors. Schafer Driveline is a leading manufacturer of custom engineered and assembled transaxles and brake components, bringing integrated power delivery solutions to the recreational and off-highway vehicle industries. In total, Schafer operates four facilities in the Midwestern United States, with over 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Bipin Doshi, CEO and president of Schafer, commented, “As we engaged in the process of selling Schafer, our priorities were our employees and our customers. Throughout the process, HBM Holdings stood out not just in value for us as shareholders, but in terms of cultural fit. They understand our markets, technology and resource constraints and have a talent development strategy that will help our people continue to grow and succeed. Their focus on growth will benefit both our employees and our customers.”
Doshi, along with his wife Linda, and Stan Blenke, executive vice president and CFO, acquired the business from South Bend Lathe approximately 30 years ago. As a result of their leadership, the company has experienced tremendous expansion organically and through acquisitions. Both Doshi and Blenke will stay involved during a transition period.
Eric Van Rens will become the company’s CEO effective immediately. Since 2004, he has served as the vice president, sales and marketing for Mississippi Lime, an HBM portfolio company. He also held prior roles in operations, marketing and general management with Astaris and FMC Corporation. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from University of Wisconsin and a master's of business administration from Rutgers University.