Impulse Manufacturing, one of Dawson County's largest employers, sold last week to a Midwest firm for a price of $30.5 million.
BTD Manufacturing, Inc., a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation in Minnesota, announced the acquisition Sept. 1 as part of its strategic plan to expand into the southeast.
"With their reputation in the marketplace here and people telling us Impulse is one of the best metal fabricators in the south, we had to basically take a look, and once we got to know the people involved here from a leadership perspective, it was definitely something we wanted to pursue," said BTD's president, Paul Gintner.
Founded in the early 1980s by Ron Baysden, Impulse has grown from a small family "kiddie ride" operation in Mississippi to a 200,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing plant in Dawsonville that employees more than 200 workers.
"Impulse's customers and employees were our foremost concern as we pursued this new direction," said Baysden, who now plans to retire. "BTD's reputation and its management team provided me with the confidence that this was the right decision."
Impulse's core management will remain in key leadership positions with BTD.
"Karl Baysden, Clay Reiser and Jon Baysden, the family members, they're all going to stay as important roles in the business. So those relationships here in the local marketplace with customers and the local community, they will all be here," Ginter said.
Additionally, all employees at the Dawsonville plant were offered positions with the new company.
"They have to meet the pre-employee commitment of what it took to become a BTD employee. Our goal is to get 100 percent. We'd like to get everybody that was here involved," Ginter said.
Impulse had revenues of $27 million in 2014. Expected revenues for the remainder of 2015 are $11 million, and the results of operations for the last four months will be negatively impacted by $.01 per common share as a result of business combination accounting principles.
Impulse is a full-service, high-tech metal fabricator that offers a wide range of metal fabrication services ranging from simple laser cutting services and high volume stamping to complex weldments and assemblies for metal fabrication buyers and OEMs of all types.
"Impulse has been very successful. It's a well-run company and basically, it's grown at such a rate that it's gotten larger and the customer's demands bigger pushing for growth that we couldn't support for ourselves," said Karl Baysden, director of sales. "So we went out looking for an acquiring company that could really take Impulse to the next level, and we have found that with BTD."
The name as of Sept. 2 was changed to BTD, branded all as one brand.
Ginter said the collaboration is a great fit for both companies.
"Impulse has had some significant growth with new customers like Caterpillar and people like that. They had growth plans prior to us acquiring them, and we're just going to accelerate those," he said. "Over time, opportunities are endless. We're already talking about how to relay out the plant to give us more manufacturing square footage."
Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, called the acquisition a win-win for all involved.
"Impulse Manufacturing is a great example of how a small family business can grow into a critical manufacturing concern. Impulse is the classic story that makes up the soul of manufacturing in America," he said.
"Impulse has always utilized the latest technology and innovation to make their operations more efficient and thus very competitive in a growing global economy. They are one of the truly impressive manufacturing concerns not just in Dawson County but in the entire southeast.
"We look forward to working with BTD Manufacturing on their future plans here and look forward to seeing Impulse continue to grow in our community."