Fast Growing Truck Bodybuilder in Waterville Acquired by Michigan Company


A Waterville truck body maker, which has been among Maine’s fastest growing companies in recent years, has been sold, the Michigan-based company, which acquired it, said on Monday.

F3 MFG Inc., which makes lightweight aluminum truck bodies and headache mounts that dealers add to trucks, was bought by The Shyft Group, a publicly traded specialty vehicle maker, for cash. not disclosed. Truck bodies attach to a truck frame for storage of products or equipment.

F3 founder Bill Cleaves was not immediately available to explain why the company was sold. Samara Hamilton, spokesperson for Shyft Group, said Cleaves would remain managing director while two other owners would act as consultants. She said F3 partnered with Shyft because Cleaves wanted to grow the business even more.

Shyft said it purchased F3 to expand its geographic reach in the Northeast and Midwestern United States. Shyft had $ 757 million in 2019 revenue from its 15 manufacturing plants in nine states, primarily in the western and southwestern United States, and two other countries.

The rest of F3’s management team will remain in place, as will 200 employees at Waterville, according to Shyft, who said he would retain F3’s DuraMag and Magnum brands and combine them into the Shyft Specialty Vehicles business unit. It will not continue to use the name F3 MFG.

F3, which stands for “Final 3,” a nod to the three owners who want this to be the last business they own, was on Inc’s annual list. Magazine of the fastest growing 5,000 private US companies in 2018 and 2019, when sales increased. over 50% annually to reach $ 25 million in 2019. F3 was Maine’s third fastest growing company in 2018, according to the Central Maine Growth Council.

Cleaves founded the company in three buildings totaling 11,000 square feet in Liberty in 2009. He hired two associates with manufacturing backgrounds in the fall of 2015. Joyce Galea, who heads sales, and Tom Sturtevant, who’s working in accounting, joined Cleaves, an engineer. The three co-owners of the company.

They moved the business to Waterville in January 2016 because the city is close to all of their homes and close to Interstate 95, according to Cleaves. F3 moved into 50,000 square feet in the former Wyandotte wool mill in early 2016, and has expanded twice since to occupy 140,000 square feet at 977 West River Road.


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