Maxon, the 88-year-old burner manufacturer, says it will sell its business, subject to a shareholder vote.

Maxon, the 88-year-old burner manufacturer in Muncie, Ind., says it will sell its business, subject to a shareholder vote. The buyer is Indianapolis-based HKW Capital Partners II, managed by Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co., with offices in Indianapolis, Chicago and New York. HKW II focuses on management buyouts of U.S.-headquartered companies that are established leaders in their niche markets and have revenues between $20 million and $100 million. Maxon, with operations in the United States, Europe and China, makes industrial process heating equipment for markets such as automotive paint-drying systems, grain drying, and the paper and textiles industries.

A company with 444 employees worldwide, Maxon had crossed that threshold, said Maxon president Charles N. Hetrick. The deal will let Maxon continue to grow, he said. Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney “is not in business to manage; it wants us to run the business while it provides capital,” Hetrick said.

“At some point in time, a growing business has to recapitalize, much like Muncie Power Products did recently,” Hetrick said, noting that jobs, wages, benefits, local management and plant locations will be unaffected by the sale. HKW will acquire all company stock, other than management-held shares.

“This transaction was initiated by the board to carry out its long-term vision for the company shareholders, employees and management,” said Bob Smitson, Maxon's chairman.