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Owners of Ross Valve acquire former Zak Inc. plant in Green Island



Article published by the Albany Business Review.

By Robin K. Cooper  – Reporter, Albany Business Review

Jun 25, 2019, 1:43pm EDT Updated Jun 25, 2019, 2:47pm EDT

 

Owners of Ross Valve acquire former Zak Inc. plant in Green Island

The sixth-generation owners of the Ross Valve Mfg. Co. are acquiring the former Zak Inc. alloy melting and jet parts manufacturing plant in Green Island from LAI International for $2.5 million.

Brothers Bill and Andy Ross are taking over a business that has struggled with multiple rounds of layoffs over the past five years. The 45,000-square-foot factory employed 55 people and finished 2013 with $15 million in revenue. Payroll shrank to 10 employees this year.

"We see an opportunity to build the business back up and win back customers," Bill Ross said. "The business was on the brink of liquidation ... That isn't good for the community and it isn't good for the employees."

The Rosses started looking into a potential acquisition late last year when the LAI plant went through another round of layoffs, Bill Ross said.

"We put ourselves in a position to salvage the business prior to liquidation," he said.

The state's economic development arm will award up to $800,000 in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program. The exact amount of the award will be based on job creation. The Rosses, who will operate the business under the name Ross Precision Manufacturing, expect to create 50 jobs at the Green Island plant over the next five years, depending on how quickly they can rebuild the business.

The purchase of the Green Island plant was financed through Community Bank, a Syracuse regional bank that is acquiring Kinderhook Bank, which the Rosses have worked with for the last few years.

"They supported us 100%," Bill Ross said. "That is very powerful. It motivates us. There is no way we are going to let those guys down."

Bill and Andy Ross now employ more than 100 people between the new plant and their operations in Troy. The Rosses manage a 140-year-old business that includes a foundry, a valve and gate manufacturing business and a 265,000-square-foot office and technology park at the site of the former Garden Way lawn equipment factory.

Acquiring LAI's Green Island plant could provide new capabilities to support Ross Valve's business in Troy. The Green Island site has a large machining section which could make parts to support the Ross valve and gate production.

The Rosses also see a lot of opportunity to expand the aerospace parts manufacturing business that LAI had focused on over the past several years. LAI International Inc. of Arizona purchased the former Zak Inc. plant from third-generation owner Douglas Zak in the fall of 2014.

Besides aerospace, the Green Island plant also manufactures parts for the power generation, oil and gas and specialty metals industries. Customers have included General Electric and Siemens, which hired the plant to to make parts used in generators and gas turbines.

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