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Tentative Agreement Reached to Purchase Keokuk Steel Castings

June 9, 2016

The Mills Group, Earlville, Iowa, announced it has reached a tentative agreement with Matrix Metals-Sanmar Group, Chennai, India, to purchase Keokuk Steel Castings (KSC) and reopen the Iowa facility.

KSC sent its last casting March 31 but the Mills Group is looking to restart production later this year.

"Our first objective is to get the (facility) back up and running and reach out to the KSC customers," Brad Mills, owner, Mills Group, said in a news release. "A little further down the road, we have additional plans for Keokuk. We see the possibility of utilizing Keokuk as an expansion option for our other companies. We also see growing this location through additional acquisitions as we have done in Earlville."

The Mills Group owns four Iowa companies involved in the steel manufacturing of livestock handling equipment. Brad and Annie Mills, who own Mills Group, live in nearby Houghton.

"As long time local residents, we're excited to start a second campus a little closer to home," Annie Mills said.

According to a release, the Mills Group met with area officials and came away with a positive outlook.

"We are very impressed with what we have found as to the skills, talent and dedication of the employees and management at KSC," Mills said. “We look forward to working together to uncover the many opportunities ahead of us."

They met with Lee County Economic Development Group, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Lee County Supervisors, City of Keokuk officials, Keokuk Economic Development Corporation, as well as local and regional financial institutions.

"We are so pleased that Keokuk Steel Castings' proud history of almost 80 years - and its impact on the Tri-State region can be further extended by this exciting new development," Steve Bisenius, executive director, LCEDG, said in a news release. "We welcome Brad and Annie Mills and their team with Mills Group, and we look forward to helping them every way we can as they build up their new plant.”

Brad Mills echoed that.

"We are very pleased how hard all of the officials in Keokuk have worked together to help make this come together and how warmly we were welcomed to the community," Mills said. "We also want to extend our special thanks to Mr. B. Natraj and his good people at Matrix Metals-Sanmar Group, for all of their effort to help make this transaction possible."

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