Word on the street is that Milwaukee Tool, which is a part of TTI (check out our guide to corporate tool brands), is in talks to acquire Empire Level.
If the acquisition goes through, Empire Level would continue its design and manufacturing operations in Mukwonago, WI. The company would become a business unit of Milwaukee Tool.
Update: It’s official: read the announcement.
Why Should You Care?
Tool brands tend to move around every now and then, with some acquisitions, mergers, and divisions being more important than others. This is one of those acquisitions that everyone should pay attention to.
Milwaukee Tool has stressed in the past that their goal is to meet the needs of tradesmen, industrial users, and other professional users.
One option would have been for them to contract with an OEM, but if they wanted Milwaukee Tool-quality products designed and built for them, that would mean higher retail prices. With Milwaukee competing with Dewalt, whose hand tools greatly benefit from the brand’s corporate relationship with Stanley Tools, they need top-quality levels and layout tools at competitive prices.
So it makes absolutely perfect sense why Milwaukee would seek to acquire Empire Level. Maybe Empire initiated the talks? It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that the Empire Level brand, with its experience and assets, will likely become a part of Milwaukee Tool. This could mean great-quality levels and layout tools with Milwaukee branding at prices builders and other pro users will be willing to pay, and for Empire it could mean leveraging of Milwaukee’s distribution network and retail partnerships for greater sales.
This seems like a very good deal for both brands, and for tool users.
Next, maybe Milwaukee will look to acquire companies that produce hammers, punches, and prying tools. I would also like to see Milwaukee-branded adjustable wrenches, but such tools might be outside their interests.