Cimarron Trailers, an employee-owned horse and livestock trailer manufacturer, announced today that it has acquired the assets of TravAlum, a local aluminum trailer manufacturer based in Manhattan. The company will convert TravAlum to its first expansion outside its home base of Chickasha, Okla.
“Cimarron Trailers is blessed with growth from our dealers and customers,” said Ben Janssen, president of Cimarron Trailers. “We’ve been looking for an opportunity to expand our production beyond our facility in Chickasha. The opportunity to employ skilled labor in a facility that is already manufacturing aluminum trailers is a win-win for both companies.”
TravAlum’s former COO Jeff Grieshaber agrees. He will become the new plant manager of the Cimarron location in Kansas.
“The trailer business has changed since our family started TravAlum by Liberty 31 years ago,” he said. “With the changes in technology, distribution, and supply chain, we looked for a partner we knew well, who matched our values, and with whom we would be stronger together. We want to build on what we have already created, keep our employees’ jobs local, and build a financially secure future for them.”
The asset acquisition will close TravAlum on March 30 and open the facility on March 31 as a Cimarron-branded location. TravAlum’s approximately 30 employees are welcome to consider new positions at Cimarron. New employees will join the approximately 500 other Folience employees in ESOP ownership.
“Folience’s business model is to find successful companies with good cultures that are looking to transition to employee-ownership, said Folience CEO Daniel Goldstein. “ESOPs are inherently local, owned by the employees, and have a greater commitment to the local community. Employee-owned companies tend to have better working environments with greater employee engagement. This leads to increased safety, attention to health, increased productivity, longer tenure, and overall job satisfaction and pride.”
Local economic development officials are pleased at the news.
“We’re happy to see such a strong investment in the PCEDC-developed Green Valley Business Park and look forward to Cimarron Trailers growing and adding jobs in the Greater Manhattan Region,” said Jack Allston, Executive Director, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC).
Daryn Soldan, Economic Development Director, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, is also supportive and congratulates Cimarron Trailers on its decision to locate in Manhattan.
“The company’s decision to locate in the Greater Manhattan Region highlights the region’s skilled workforce, excellent quality of life, and strong resources for businesses,” he said.
Keeping jobs in the community at a business with the growth potential of Cimarron Trailers is good for Kansas as well.
“It’s wonderful to see Cimarron Trailers choose Kansas as the place to expand its operations,” Kansas Lieutenant Governor and Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “A company known for its evolution in manufacturing will be right at home in Kansas, where our spirit of innovation has driven our record-breaking surge in business investment.
Cimarron Trailers is an aluminum trailer manufacturer based in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where it manufactures innovative and high-quality horse and livestock trailers. It employs 153 people and operates out of a 120,000-square-foot plant facility on 20 acres of land. Its dealer network is located across North America, from California to Maryland, and Minnesota to Florida, and includes a dealer in Canada. They’ve helped put more than 14,500 trailers on the road.
Folience is a 100% ESOP-owned holding company that invests in profitable businesses with strong management continuity. Folience traces its roots to a family-owned company formed in 1884 and its newspaper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, started the prior year in 1883. By 1986, the family began embracing employee-ownership and by 2012, the company was 100% employee-owned. Today, Folience’s approximately 500 employees work to uphold employee ownership core values at six independently managed companies. Those companies include The Gazette newspaper, The Southeast Iowa Union Newspapers including The Fairfield Ledger, The Washington Evening Journal and the Mt. Pleasant News, Life Line Emergency Vehicles and Cimarron Trailers. Folience is proud to expand the Cimarron Trailers brand to the Manhattan, Kansas market.