Milacron climbs higher to become the company it was meant to be

Today marks the beginning of the "quiet period"—that 25-day span of time just before an initial public offering (IPO), during which company officials do not talk to the press. Yesterday, Milacron CFO Bruce Chalmers spoke with the press in private phone conversations. While he couldn't say much, he did note, "it's a pretty exciting day for us. Milacron has a long rich history, so this IPO is the culmination of much effort and sets us up well for growth. We'll use it to strengthen our balance sheet going forward."

According to an article produced by Bank of America Merrill Lynch ("Spearheading a Turnaround at Milacron With Asset-Based Financing"), Milacron was founded in 1884 as the Cincinnati Milling Machine Co., one of the largest machine tool companies in North America by the 1930s. It was one of the places to work if you were a tool & die maker like my dad was. While he didn't get on at Cincinnati Milling Machine, he and my mom had two good friends that worked there, met and married and had long careers at that company.

Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. continued to grow and eventually evolved into Milacron, one of the leading manufacturers of plastics injection molding machines. The company even started its path to vertical integration with the acquisition of DME, maker of mold bases and mold components.

In 2008 and 2009, notes the BofA Merrill Lynch article, "demand from Milacron's customers in the plastics processing machinery portion of the manufacturing sector decreased significantly, driven by high oil and resin prices, and the slowdown in the automotive and construction sectors." The company announced that it had entered bankruptcy in March 2009.

"Milacron has since emerged from bankruptcy protection" and "solidified its position as a leading supplier of plastics processing solutions with its 2013 acquisition of Mold Masters, the leading manufacturer of a comprehensive line of plastic delivery and precision control systems for injection molding applications," said the BofA Merrill Lynch article.

As a portfolio company of affiliates of CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, Milacron is being led through the IPO process by BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays and J.P. Morgan, acting as joint lead book-running managers in the proposed offering. Baird, Credit Suisse and Goldman, Sachs & Co. are also acting as book-running managers. The proposed offering will be made only by means of prospectus.

I suppose one could say that this IPO could very well be the pinnacle of Milacron's long, rich history in American manufacturing.

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