Cornwell Quality Tools Buys Kennedy Manufacturing

Private investment firm JVA Partners LLC is selling its KMC Holdings Group — which includes Kennedy Manufacturing — to Cornwell Quality Tools Co. Both Kennedy and Cornwell are based in Ohio.

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Private investment firm JVA Partners LLC is selling its KMC Holdings Group — which includes Kennedy Manufacturing — to Cornwell Quality Tools Co.

Kennedy Manufacturing, based in Van Wert, OH, is one of the most-well known provider of industrial tool storage boxes in the country with its roots stretching back more than 105 years. It will continue to operate from its existing location.

Cornwell Tools, based in Wadsworth, OH, had been a former customer of Kennedy Manufacturing. Cornwell, a manufacturer of automotive hand tools,  also produces  power tools, specialty tools, automotive diagnostics and shop equipment at plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

JVA acquired the iconic Kennedy Manufacturing company in 2007.

Kennedy had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2004 when it faced increased global competition, tighter banking requirements and high steel prices. It emerged from bankruptcy a year later.

“It is a great opportunity to pass the custody of Kennedy Manufacturing and its 100-plus year legacy to another Ohio company," said JVA managing partner George Garifalis. "We are very confident that the strategic and complementary synergies between Kennedy Manufacturing and Cornwell will provide our customers with enhanced product and service capabilities, as well as accelerated growth and jobs in the community."

Added Bryan Yourdon, president of Kennedy Manufacturing: “We remain absolutely committed to our domestic manufacturing customers, tradesmen and users of Kennedy Manufacturing products; both Kennedy and Cornwell are very well aligned in terms of culture, community, customer service and the belief that people make the ultimate difference.”

Executives at both companies stressed the acquisition will lead to more jobs, new designs and new products for customers.

Cornwell, which has been in business for 95 years, plans to move all of its foreign tool storage production to the Kennedy facility.

JVA Partners, a metro-Chicago based firm, is a strategic investment company that has acquired a number of manufacturing companies throughout the Midwest. One of its other holdings, Homak, is also in the tool storage business. JVA purchased Homak in 2005.

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