F&M Mafco, one of Cincinnati’s largest private companies, acquired by AMECO

F&M Mafco, one of Cincinnati's largest private companies, acquired by AMECO


May 4, 2022 | Cincinnati Business Courier (full link below)


One of Greater Cincinnati's largest private companies, family-owned since its founding in 1945, has been acquired by a national construction management firm.

Greenville, S.C.-based American Equipment Co. Inc. (AMECO) announced Wednesday that it acquired F&M Mafco Inc., headquartered at 9149 Dry Fork Road in Harrison. Terms of the acquisition, which closed on May 2, were not disclosed.

Tim Fries, CEO of F&M Mafco, will continue on as president of that company and chief growth officer of both organizations. He will report directly to AMECO CEO Gary Bernardez and be responsible for developing and implementing a long-term growth strategy.

Fries told me that with the family ownership of F&M Mafco in its second and third generations, and with them now looking to retire, the company began the process of looking for a buyer around 2021. He said that F&M Mafco had three goals:

Maximizing value for the shareholders

Finding a partner that would allow it to continue its innovation

Landing at a place where its employees would be able to take advantage of the opportunities that come from being in a large organization.

"We went through nine or 10 iterations of people interested in our organization, and we were steadfast that the organization we chose met all of those," Fries said.

"When AMECO came to the forefront, it was an 'a-ha' moment."

Bernardez told me that F&M Mafco was an attractive acquisition target because the companies were culturally alike, had complementary services and geographies, and their combined services will allow AMECO to better serve its customers and grow more rapidly. F&M Mafco will continue to operate under its own brand with Fries as president.

"We're running two brands and we did that on purpose: there are tons of reasons we did this acquisition, and we wanted to accentuate that," he said.

The company will continue to be headquartered in Greenville, and F&M Mafco will maintain a significant operations presence in Cincinnati, where it has about 190 employees. Fries said he doesn't anticipate any downsizing as a result of the acquisition.

F&M Mafco provides tools for the power generation; manufacturing; petrochemical; chemical; bridges; marine and offshore; pulp and paper; and mining industries.

AMECO is a construction planning and management firm that provides products and services such as scaffolding, tools, water and ice distribution, fueling, vehicles and construction equipment for construction and maintenance projects in North America. It serves the energy, chemicals, advanced technology, biotech, manufacturing, infrastructure and mining industries, as well as government.

F&M Mafco is Greater Cincinnati's 124th-largest private company, with 2019 revenue of $80 million and 250 total employees, according to Courier research. The family-owned firm has operations in Alabama, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, West Virginia, the United Kingdom, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.