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Naarden-based Stork acquires meat-processing equipment maker

Townsend Engineering industry leader

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DES MOINES, Iowa - Industrial conglomerate Stork, of Naarden, the Netherlands, has purchased Townsend Engineering, a Des Moines meat-processing equipment manufacturer. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Townsend operates a factory in Oss, the Netherlands, as well.

Stork, with subsidiaries in a wide range of industries, ranging from printing systems tot aerospace, will make Townsend the core of its own global food machinery operations. In the U.S., a subsidiary of Stork Food Systems is located in Gainesville, Georgia.

Twenty major meat-processing companies in the U.S. use equipment developed, manufactured and sold by Townsend, to skin and de-bone, and make and link sausages and hot dogs. Founded in 1946, Townsend has a work force of about 400 people, equally divided between Des Moines and Oss. Stork Food Systems employs 780 people and has annual sales of $180 million.

Stork has a global work force of 12,500 people of whom 10,000 in the Netherlands. The company targets four core endeavours: printing, food systems, aerospace and technical services. The company evolved from Amsterdam-based Werkspoor, which was formed in 1827 and in 1954 merged with engineering firm Stork (1868), then based in Hengelo. Following the bankruptcy of Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker, Stork acquired and merged a number of Fokker subsidiaries into its aerospace division in 1996. Corporate sales in 2004 were $2.2 billion.