Interview Spotlight: Peter Spuhler, Barend Fruithof and Rudi Rosenkamp, ASH Group
With the acquisition of M-B Companies (MBC), a leading U.S. manufacturer of snow removal and cleaning machines, Aebi Schmidt has consolidated its position in the North American airports market. Peter Spuhler, Barend Fruithof and Rudi Rosenkamp of ASH Group reveal why the purchase is a perfect fit.
The acquisition complements ASH Group’s existing expertise in the airports sector, where it is already a leading provider of snow clearance, de-icing equipment and control systems technology. The purchase is a key part of the Group’s strategy to expand into North America, where consolidated sales now total almost $200 million.
As well as airport equipment, Wisconsin-based MBC also produces pavement marking machines, multi-service vehicles and attachments, which it markets to private and public contractors.
“With the MBC team, we now have a strong and experienced partner for the North American market, particularly in the airport sector,” said Peter Spuhler, Chairman of the Board of Directors at ASH.
“It is very important to us that we build on the previous owners’ work and the success of MBC, which has been maintained over generations.”
Both parties have agreed to confidentiality regarding the details of the agreement, but it is understood that all MBC employees will be retained and that MBC will have a new owner to ensure long-term continuity for the business.
The ASH Group has been present in the American market since 2015 with local producers of winter maintenance equipment, Meyer Products, based in Ohio and Swenson Products, based in Illinois.
However, with the purchase of MBC, the Group has now strengthened its position in the world’s largest airports’ market, with great group-wide cross-selling opportunities.
“We wanted to acquire a strongly positioned U.S. business with local production and direct market access, and we have succeeded,” said ASH Group CEO, Barend Fruithof.
“Gaining market access in the competitive airport sector in North America without an actual base there is difficult.
“Thanks to MBC, we now have an outstanding business base with a well-established sales and service network and a professional team with the in-depth knowledge of local conditions,” he continued.
The product portfolios of both businesses are highly complementary with MBC equipment filling gaps in the ASH portfolio, and vice versa.
“This will not only bring rewards in the home markets, but great opportunities for global expansion,” said Rudi Rosenkamp, CCO Global Sales Dealer/Airport. “We can now see opportunities in different regions, including Asia, the Middle East and Russia, for our expanded portfolio of complementary equipment.”