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Appleton-based AZCO acquired by Kansas City firm

AZCO INC., an industrial and fabrication contractor headquartered in Appleton, is being acquired by the Kansas City, Mo.-based firm Burns & McDonnell. Both companies announced the acquisition on Monday.

The acquisition will bring together the companies’ focus on environmental, engineering, procurement and direct-hire construction and fabrication, according to a news release. Additionally, company officials said it will allow them to lean on each others’ strengths, making each able to achieve more than if they were to remain separate.

“Acquisitions are common in our industry, but extremely rare at Burns & McDonnell,” Ray Kowalik, Burns & McDonnell chief executive officer-elect, said in a statement. “AZCO is a natural partner for us. Their industry-leading construction and pipe fabrication capabilities are a perfect fit into our multi-billion-dollar construction arm.”

The companies say the acquisition not only makes sense because they each are employee-owned, but they have also collaborated on many projects over the last two decades or so. For instance, the two just completed a project at the Empire Riverton Power Plant in Riverton, Kan. The team converted an existing combustion turbine generator into a combined-gas-fired power plant.

“At AZCO we repeatedly experience unprecedented growth and are getting ready to close out another record year,” said John Trottier, president and chief executive at AZCO. “We look forward to joining the Burns & McDonnell family and continuing that growth while maintaining our local commitment to the community we call home in northeast Wisconsin.”

AZCO employees will remain in the company’s Appleton headquarters, as well as its other offices in northeast Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado. In addition to its construction services, the company also operates a 71,000-square-foot factory that produces carbon steel, stainless, chrome-moly and alloy pipe and metal fabrication.

“We believe the acquisition will magnify the strengths of both companies, allowing us to better achieve success together, than what we can do apart,” Kowalik said.

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