Mid-Michigan-based Spartan Motors to Acquire Fire Apparatus Maker Smeal


Charlotte-based Spartan Motors Inc. has entered an agreement to acquire custom fire apparatus developer Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. and its subsidiaries for $36.3 million. The transaction is expected to close in January 2017.

Smeal is expected to add approximately $70 million in annual revenue, excluding $30 million of Spartan chassis sold to Smeal, to the Company’s emergency response department. The deal positions Spartan Emergency Response as one of the top-four fire apparatus manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada.

Spartan’s emergency response business unit builds and engineers fire truck cabs and chassis for many of the industry’s leading original equipment manufacturers and complete fire apparatus.

The acquisition will enable Spartan Motors to strengthen its emergency response business, gain scale and geographic reach in the industry, and accelerate its emergency response business unit turnaround plan.

After the merger, the combined company will have 47 dealers in 44 states, 10 providences, and three territories, which will boost Spartan Emergency Response’s ability to serve customers in all off the U.S. and Canada.

“We are proud of this significant milestone for Spartan’s emergency response business, and welcome Smeal’s knowledgeable and respected operational management team and employees to the Spartan Motors family,” says Daryl Adams president and CEO of Spartan Motors. “This transaction will bring together some of the best talent in the industry and provides an opportunity for all employees to pursue a broader and more diverse career path.”

Founded in 1975, Spartan Motors, located southwest of Lansing, is a designer, engineer, manufacturer, and marketer of specialty vehicles and parts, vehicles bodies and parts for fleet and delivery, recreational vehicles, emergency response, defense force, and contract assembly markets. The company employs approximately 1,800 workers and operates facilities in Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Saltilo, Mexico and Lima, Peru. Spartan reported sales of $550 million in 2015.

Smeal, founded in 1955 in Snyder, Neb., is a manufacturer and inventor of customized fire apparatuses. The company offers a line of custom and commercial pumpers, stainless steel tankers, aerial ladders, platforms, TDA’s (tractor-drawn aerial), and wild land urban interface vehicles.