Chemtool to Acquire Site for HQ


Lubricant and grease manufacturer Chemtool plans to acquire Woodward Governors 102,266-square-foot Rockton, Ill., facility for use as a corporate headquarters. Terms of the transaction, expected to close next week, were not disclosed.

The Rockton and Winnebago County area is a great place for our expanding manufacturing business, said Chemtool Chairman James Athans. This will be our world headquarters as well as our R&D center, and close to our manufacturing plant in Rockton.

The company is in the midst of rehabilitating an old building it purchased in Rockton, said Athans, just a mile away from the Woodward Governor facility. We have plenty of room for expansion in Rockton, he told Lube Report. We have almost a 400,000 square foot building on 180 acres. Its really coming along nicely.

He noted that Chemtools original plan was to consolidate its Crystal Lake and Elkhorn, Wis., plants into the new Rockton manufacturing plant. The problem is there are probably eight or ten buildings for sale around our plant in Elkhorn, Wis., where we have a beautiful plant, Athans explained. There havent been any takers, and the same thing with our plant in Crystal Lake – there are many empty buildings.

As a result, Athans said it instead plans to form a joint venture with another as yet undisclosed company to move into Chemtools plant in Elkhorn. What were going to do at Crystal Lake is were going to keep this building open and were going to acquire another company similar to what we do, but not exactly, and well move that into Crystal Lake, he added.

According to Woodwards announcement, Chemtool will initially bring 50 jobs to Rockton and anticipates total employment there to reach 500. I want to say pretty much everything in Crystal Lake will hopefully be moved out by March 1, next year, Athans told Lube Report.

Woodwards 210 employees will relocate to another facility in the coming months. A Woodward official told Lube Report the company has used the Rockton facility for office space, and for performing assembly and testing. The Woodward Governor site sits on 80 acres, Athans said, noting that the attractively landscaped site looks like a college campus.

In addition to its current headquarters in Crystal Lake, Ill., and the Rockton and Elkhorn Wis., manufacturing plants, Chemtool operates facilities in Milan, Mich., Tehachapi, Calif., Diegem, Belgium, and Shanghai, China.

Woodward designs, manufactures and services energy control systems and components for aircraft and industrial engines and turbines. It built the Rockton facility in 1989.

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