RANDOLPH, Ohio. Mexico-based transportation holding company Fultra has acquired EastManufacturing, the companies announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fultra adds East’s long-standing production capacity for aluminum flatbed, drop deck, dump, round bottom and refuse trailers along with steel dump trailers and aluminum truck bodies to a portfolio that includes Fruehauf van trailer manufacturing in Mexico and, beginning last year, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The company also has truck sales and service, leasing, and parts brands.
“We are thrilled to welcome East Manufacturing to the family,” said Jorge Martinez, CEO of Fultra. “East really fits with our vision to be the trusted solutions partner for the commercial vehicle market in North America. We are confident that our employees and communities as well as customers, dealers and suppliers, will benefit from our combined strengths. We are honored and proud to be the stewards of two iconic brands like East and Fruehauf in North America.”
With East, Fultra’s trailer production capacity in North America will approach 13,000 units per year, Tom Wiseman, who will serve as CEO for both East and Fruehauf Inc., told TBB shortly after Fultra executives addressed employees here.
“It was no secret East was for sale, so employees were primed for [the announcement],” Wiseman said. “East will continue to operate as a standalone entity with all existing management and employees as a key to moving forward. We will build on East’s strengths combined with group synergies to deliver even greater value to our customers and dealers.”
Founded in 1968, East boasts a reputation for strong, reliable aluminum trailers and high resale prices. East’s dealer network includes 90 locations across the United States and Canada.
“I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to step in as president after my father passed [last year],” Howard Booher Jr., son of co-founder Howard D. Booher, said. “I am confident that Fultra will lead our legacy forward with pride and care.”
Robert Bruce, co-founder of East, noted “a lot of companies” had expressed interest buying the manufacturer.
“But at the end of the day, we selected Fultra because it has a demonstrated track record of taking care of its employees, customers and communities,” Bruce said. “We are proud to have Fultra carry forward and grow the East brand and legacy established over the past 55 years.”
Look for complete coverage of the East sale in September’s print edition of Trailer/Body Builders.