Donald Baumgartner announced today that Paper Machinery Corporation, initiated an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making the Milwaukee-based company 100 percent employee owned.
Paper Machinery Corporation has 250 employees in Milwaukee and more than 3,000 installations worldwide. Its machines form paperboard cups and containers for brands like McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks and Tim Hortons.
“This is great news for our employees and great news for Milwaukee,” said Donald Baumgartner, Founder of Paper Machinery Corporation. “The transition to employee ownership will ensure that Paper Machinery Corporation’s legacy will continue right here in Milwaukee for generations to come.”
Changes Ensure Future of Storied Local Company
Paper Machinery Corporation has been advancing forming technology for more than 60 years. The company’s rich history has roots with the Baumgartner family, which has been manufacturing machinery in Milwaukee since 1935.
From building machinery in the family garage to launching such notable Milwaukee manufacturing companies as Reliable Tool and Mercury Engineering, the Baumgartner family is engrained in Milwaukee’s manufacturing history.
Donald Baumgartner got his start working for his father. He went on to follow in his father’s footsteps, founding Paper Machinery Corporation in 1951. Paper Machinery Corporation is now a thriving, international company and remains committed to its Milwaukee roots. Every facet of the company’s engineering, manufacturing and service takes place at the company’s Milwaukee headquarters.
“We are deeply committed to Milwaukee and to our employees,” said Donald Baumgartner. “When the time came to transition ownership – the choice was clear. Who better to carry on our legacy and tradition than the people who made the business successful in the first place – our managers and employees.”
Over the years, Donald Baumgartner had seen too many companies where key employees were laid off after a company sale and the identity of the company was lost. And he had seen his father sell three companies that were later moved out of state. Donald Baumgartner learned his lesson from those experiences and knew that an ESOP was the best succession plan for Paper Machinery Corporation.
The company also remains committed to the family values on which it was founded. “This company is a family business,” said John Baumgartner, Donald’s son and former President of Paper Machinery Corporation, now serving on the company’s Board of Directors. “Our employees are our family, making a transition to an employee-owned company a natural fit.”
Leadership Transition Announced
The ownership announcement is accompanied by a leadership transition. While both Donald Baumgartner, and longtime company president, John Baumgartner, will continue to be significantly invested in Paper Machinery Corporation for many years to come, operational control is being transitioned to longtime managers Luca Dellomodarme, Scott Koehler and Michael Kazmierski. Additionally, Donald Baumgartner will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, along with John Baumgartner and others, to ensure a successful future for Paper Machinery Corporation, its employees, customers and the broader Milwaukee community.
“Donald and John will continue to provide their significant leadership and vast experience as members of our Board of Directors, and will continue to be a great resource to company leadership,” said Scott Koehler, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Paper Machinery Corporation. “As Luca, Michael and I step into enhanced leadership roles, we will remain committed, more than ever, to the legacy built by the Baumgartner family.”
Luca Dellomodarme joined Paper Machinery Corporation in 2003 and has been named Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Paper Machinery Corporation, he served in various engineering roles, including as Director of Engineering at International Paper. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois and his Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University.
Scott Koehler joined Paper Machinery Corporation in 1992 and currently serves as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Prior to joining Paper Machinery Corporation, he worked for Ernst & Young and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics and his Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Michael Kazmierski joined Paper Machinery Corporation in 1974 and currently serves as Senior Vice President – Sales. He started his career as a draftsman and was promoted to Sales Manager in 1986. In 1992, he became Vice President – Sales and Service and was named Senior Vice President – Sales in 2013
About the Transaction
Foley & Lardner LLP acted as legal counsel to the company and its shareholders in connection with the transaction, and Chartwell Financial Advisory, Inc. acted as financial advisor. Financing for the transaction was provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Cyprium Investment Partners, LLC.
An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a federally regulated retirement plan that invests in the stock of an employer on behalf of its employees. Under the plan, eligible employees will earn shares of Paper Machinery Corporation stock over time. Click here for a visual guide to employee ownership from the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO).
About Paper Machinery Corporation
Paper Machinery Corporation is the world’s leading source of forming machines for paperboard cups, canisters, and custom packages. PMC manufactures dependable, high quality cup and container forming machines for converters and manufacturers and has more than 2,500 installations worldwide. PMC’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This facility houses engineering departments and machining centers, as well as full machine assembly and testing centers. For more information call Donna Lehto at 414-362-8231.
To learn more about PMC’s fast, productive, flexible line of container forming machines, contact Donna Lehto our Marketing Administrator at Sales@papermc.com. To contact a specific sales team member via direct line or e-mail connect to the contacts page.