Industrial Magnetics, Inc. Acquires Prater


Industrial Magnetics, Inc. Acquires Prater on Eve of Prater’s 90th Anniversary and Makes Changes to Prepare for the Future.

Earlier in the summer, as Prater celebrated its 89th Memorial Day of providing its customers with particle processing solutions, employees got word that something new was on the horizon. It was announced that Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (IMI) Boyne City, MI USA, an industry leader in manufacturing engineered, innovative permanent and electromagnetic solutions since 1961, had acquired Prater Industries and Sterling Systems and Controls. Employees were assured by CEO Bud Shear that positive changes were in the pipeline.

Ninety days post-merger and many positive changes can be felt, as well as seen. Significant changes to health care and related benefits packages now provide employees with lower premiums and more options for insurance, an increase in company-match towards the 401(k) retirement plan, and changes to supplemental compensation opportunities with the intent of everyone working towards cohesive corporate goals.

Customers are noticing changes as well. Recently, former president Scott Prater left the organization to pursue other interests. The first customer-friendly measure initiated was to provide open payment terms, which is in stark contrast to cash-in-advance terms which had previously been Prater policy. Other initiatives impacting customers include IMI’s significant capital equipment investments to bolster production capacity and improvements benefiting Prater’s toll processing and laboratory capabilities. Product improvements via design enhancements will continue to emerge through investment in engineering and software technology.

The Sterling division has also been busy with positive changes. A new logo, website and a current search to create its own channel partners are all in the works to allow Sterling to step out from the shadows and establish itself as a stand-alone brand.

According to Bud Shear, “Both companies are moving forward intact from a personnel perspective with the exception of the previous owner. We are closing in on securing a new GM to oversee day-to-day Prater operations. Prater and Sterling are comprised of so many talented and experienced individuals. It has been enjoyable to work alongside them and share ideas and concepts for moving the organization forward on a positive path”.