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Rulmeca Expands Reach Through Acquisition

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 2, 2023
Rulmeca Holding S.p.A., parent of Wilmington-based Rulmeca Corp., has announced the acquisition of Alabama-based Douglas Manufacturing Ltd.

Rulmeca and Douglas, both family-owned companies, “represent more than 105 years of combined experience in designing and manufacturing of material handling components,” according to a news release.

Founded in 1962 and based in Bergamo, Italy, the Rulmeca Group has grown to be a leading partner to the global material handling industry with production and sales companies around the globe serving clients in about 100 countries. The company is the world’s largest supplier of material handling components: rollers/idlers, pulleys and motorized pulleys for heavy-duty belt conveyors for bulk handling applications, as well as rollers, drum motors, and 24V Drive Rollers for intralogistics. The acquisition of Douglas Manufacturing brings to 17 the number of the Rulmeca Group’s locations worldwide.

Douglas, the release stated, is a leading manufacturer of conveyor components and engineered conveying systems for bulk material-handling applications.

“Synergies, products exchange and teamwork between Rulmeca and Douglas will boost [the] Group’s expansion and offer in North America,” the news release stated, adding, “The main strength and motivation of the acquisition lies in the sharing of the same values and goals.”

Douglas Manufacturing, established in 1978, is a manufacturer and distributor of components and engineered conveying systems for bulk material-handling applications. It serves customers in North, Central and South America in a range of industries, including pulp and paper, steel, chemical, cement, fertilizer, biofuel, agriculture, and ship cargo loading and unloading, according to the release.

“We are thrilled by the significant opportunities and value this deal may bring to our companies, customers, employees and stakeholders in the coming years,” Fabio Ghisalberti, executive vice president of Rulmeca Holding, said in the release. “This deal will allow our customers in the USA and North America to access an enhanced portfolio of products and services.”

The Italian holding company established Rulmeca Corp. in Wilmington in 2003 as a sales and servicing center for motorized pulleys. It works with sister company Rulmeca Canada Ltd., a manufacturer of heavy-duty and extra-heavy-duty idlers and components for bulk material handling.

“With the acquisition of Douglas Manufacturing Ltd, Rulmeca expands its group companies to nine manufacturing units and takes a strategic step toward growing its business in the U.S. and North America market,” the release stated. “The introduction of a brand known for the quality of its products allows for strengthening [Rulmeca’s] manufacturing capacity of pulleys and medium duty idlers for bulk material handling sector.”

Rulmeca plans to retain Douglas’ management team and upgrade the company’s facility, the release stated, adding, “Even now, significant investments are planned at the Douglas plant in Pell City [Alabama] in the short and medium term to develop the local business further and foster technological innovation.”
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