Empire is the leading U.S. manufacturer of levels, squares, layout tools and safety and utility tape. It has about 160 employees at its Mukwonago campus, which includes four buildings tht total 200,000 square feet.
Brookfield-based Milwaukee Electric Tool is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. The company has about 450 employees at its corporate office at 13135 W. Lisbon Road in Brookfield. MET recently completed a $6 million expansion to the facility's research and development center.
“(The acquisition of Empire) really allowed Milwaukee Tool to expand our solution portfolio in the layout and measurement categories, and we'll be able to provide the resources and support needed to grow the Empire brand,” said Kharli Tyler, MET spokesperson. “We're just really proud of the strength of the Empire brand, and we're committed to the long-term growth of the brand within the United States.”
The new legal name of Empire will be Empire Level, a division of Milwaukee Tool, according to Tyler. The individual MET and Empire brands and products will remain separate because “they cater to unique user groups,” she said.
MET is not yet certain how the acquisition will affect employees of Empire Level.
“There will be a period of integration over 2014, and our top priority at this point is to continue to provide the highest levels of service,” Tyler said.
However, the acquisition will contribute to MET's efforts to stimulate job creation throughout the state and country, according to Tyler. Within the past three years, the company has more than doubled its employee base at its Brookfield facilities.
“We're committed to growing jobs in Wisconsin,” Tyler said. “So we're really excited about this opportunity.”
According to an April statement from Empire Level, the company's design and manufacturing facilities in Mukwonago will remain operational, and Jenni Becker will continue to serve as president of Empire Level, which will be a business unit of Milwaukee Tool. She will report to Steve Richman, president of Milwaukee Tool.
MET does not plan to disclose the price of the transaction.