Webster’s Dakota Foundry purchased by N.D. firm

Farm Forum

WEBSTER – A North Dakota company has bought out the 13 shareholders of Dakota Foundry, a successful, Webster-based factory for casting metal.

Anderson Industries, a Maplewood, N.D.,-based company that specializes in metal fabrication, providing machined components to equipment manufacturers in the agricultural and construction industry, completed the complete buyout on Sept. 3.

Eleven of the 13 shareholders will continue to work for the company. The other two are retired.

“We are very excited about the acquisition, which will allow us to provide more value-added services to all of our combined services,” Anderson Industries Owner Kory Anderson said in a press release. “Our vision is to manufacture solutions that enhance our customers’ experience, productivity and profitability. The acquisition of the foundry allows us to be a one-stop shop for our customers’ metal fabrication and iron casting needs.”

No immediate changes will be made to management, but according to Executive Vice President Doug Valsvig, having a human relations supervisor and other resources from Anderson Industries will only help the foundry.

“Kory brings youth to the table to ensure the longevity of the foundry,” Valsvig said. “He also brings resources to the table that we didn’t have before.”

“This is a very personal business for Kory,” Valsvig said. “He wants this to succeed, and it will. Kory is a brilliant young man.”

Anderson has shown interest in the foundry dating back to 2005, when a group of employees bought the operation from Mereen-Johnson. In the first few months of the operation, Anderson, who was then beginning his own business out of his garage in Andover, worked with Dakota Foundry to learn about iron casting, going to a trade show with the managers of the foundry.

The operation has seen major growth since 2005. At the time of the buyout from Mereen-Johnson, the foundry was generating about $2 million in sales and had 16 employees. Today, the foundry has closer to $6.5 million in annual sales revenue and has more than 40 employees.

According to Valsvig, although the number of foundries nationwide has dropped dramatically in the last decade because of outsourcing and other factors, Dakota Foundry has found a niche and will remain successful for years to come.