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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The sale of a longtime local manufacturing company is expected to result in new jobs at its Van Wert plant.

The sale of longtime local company Kennedy Manufacturing (above) to a similar tool manufacturer was announced on Monday. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

The sale of longtime local company Kennedy Manufacturing (above) to a similar tool manufacturer was announced on Monday. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

The Cornwell Quality Tools Company, a privately owned company based in Wadsworth, recently acquired the business assets of KMC Holdings LLC from JVA Partners LLC. KMC Holdings includes Kennedy Manufacturing Company in Van Wert, which has been manufacturing iconic toolboxes for more than 100 years.

“Working with Kennedy in the past assured Cornwell that Kennedy would be the perfect fit; our companies share so many similarities in terms of values, design, culture, and customer service beliefs,” said Bob Studenic, president of Cornwell Quality Tools. “We plan on servicing both Kennedy and Cornwell branded products, as well as investing in strategic machinery to keep production running at maximum efficiency.”

The acquisition will bring additional tool storage production to Kennedy’s Van Wert facility. Currently, the manufacturing facility employs around 95 employees. With the addition of the Cornwell product line, more people will be needed to keep up with demand, providing more jobs and growth to the Van Wert community.

“Our team is excited about the opportunity and what this means for Kennedy, the Van Wert community, as well as the state of Ohio,” said Kennedy President Bryan Yourdon.

Yourdon said there would be a transition period where more employees are hired gradually as production of the Cornwell tool storage product line is incorporated into the local plant. Cornwell Tools also manufactures hand tools, power tools, specialty tools, automotive diagnostics, and shop equipment at plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“Most importantly, (Cornwell) is a former customer and will be a very good internal customer,” Yourdan said. “The plan is to migrate much of their existing tool storage program to our facility in Van Wert, which effectively doubles the requirement of this plant.”

Yourdan noted the impact on the local economy would be positive. “We’re going to need to hire more, we’re going to need to continue to produce more high quality products. It’s certainly a growth play from an acquisitions standpoint.”

The Kennedy Manufacturing president said both companies were similar in their outlook, as well as their histories, with the combined companies having great reputations and more than 200 years of experience in manufacturing quality tool storage products.

“I think the best thing about the acquisition itself is that the acquirer is cut from the same cloth as Kennedy,” Yourdon said. “Culturally, we very much value the same things: we value American workers, we value high quality products, and those things are certainly what’s going to help the company, the combined entity, grow that much faster.”

Cornwell, an employee-owned company, will use Kennedy’s manufacturing and design expertise to support its nationwide network of franchised Cornwell tool dealers with new and exciting products.

POSTED: 10/04/16 at 7:54 am. FILED UNDER: News