Ariens closing ‘off-core’ operations in Janesville

Posted at 1:30 p.m. on June 20, 2018

The Brillion News

BRILLION – Less than a week after announcing the decision to close a satellite outdoor equipment manufacturing plant in Auburn, Nebraska, the Ariens Company announced that it is selling two direct-marketing businesses based in Janesville, Wis.

Ariens said it will exit the direct marketing business in an effort to focus on its core power equipment business. The company has signed agreements for the sale of two of the three brands that make up the company’s direct marketing division and continues to explore options to divest the third and final brand.

The company acquired the three direct marketing brands from W. W. Grainger Inc. in 2014.

The divestiture affects 150 employees located in Janesville. All transactions are expected to be complete between the end of August and December 2018. The business will continue to operate as usual, and all employees will retain positions, until that time.

“The difficult decision to divest of these brands is to ensure we focus our resources on the tremendous growing demand for Ariens and Gravely brands of lawn and snow equipment. The past three years has provided record growth in this core business” said Ariens Chairman/CEO Dan Ariens in a press release. “It will allow us to concentrate capital and talent in our manufacturing operations.”

Ben Meadows and AW Direct are pending sales with two different buyers and both will be moved out of state as part of the terms.

The sale of both divisions are expected to be complete by the end of August 2018. Further details of the two sales will not be disclosed.

Ben Meadows provides equipment, gear and supplies to the forestry and natural resources market. AW Direct provides equipment, gear and supplies to the towing industry.

The Company continues to explore options to divest the remaining Gempler’s division at this time. Gempler’s targets the landscape, agricultural and horticultural segments.

Company officials met with employees in Janesville on Tuesday, June 19. Eligible employees will be provided with a severance package based on the number of years of service. Employees are welcome to apply for open positions at other Ariens Company facilities and may be eligible to receive a relocation bonus, according to the company.

Ariens has also invited the businesses purchasing the brands to conduct on-site employee interviews if they choose to do so.​

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