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Webco ...Local manufacturer sells to R.I. company

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WEBCO, a Springfield-based manufacturer of air-moving equipment, has a new owner.

The company, founded in Springfield in 1977, was privately owned before it was sold to the CES group of Nortek, a company based in Providence, R.I., that manufactures building, remodeling and indoor environmental control products for the residential and commercial markets.

The CES group of Nortek is a division focused on custom heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. CES includes five other companies: Governair, Mammoth, Temtrol, Benmar and Ventrol.

The acquisition was announced March 8, said Kevin Trowhill, sales manager for WEBCO. The company has no plans to change its name or its manufacturing and management team.

"One of the reasons this company was attractive as an acquisition for the CES Group is that they recognized the high level of talent and ability at this facility. The great thing for us is that there are no plans to make changes there," Trowhill said.

WEBCO's products are custom-engineered, and the company creates systems for Fortune 500 companies like Nabisco, Lucent, General Motors, Nestle and Ford, Trowhill said. The air-moving units it makes are about 100 times the size of residential units and are sold nationally by independent sales representatives.

At its plant in Springfield, WEBCO employs about 100 people, about 70 of whom are in the manufacturing division. The remaining staff are support for the independent sales component, engineering and administrative, Trowhill said.

WEBCO was founded by William Eugene Bennett (the WEB in WEBCO) and was sold in 1986 to Robert Carter, who owned it until the Nortek purchase.

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