Spokane Journal of Business

K&N acquires competitor’s assets here

56-year-old company here is moving to bigger facility on Fancher, adds employees

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K&N Electric Motors Inc., a 56-year-old Spokane motor distributor and industrial-equipment service shop, has bought the assets of the former Spokane operation of Cleveland-based Grand Eagle Inc. and is moving into that companys facility.

Grand Eagle filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code earlier this year in Akron, Ohio, and has sold its Spokane assets to K&N, says K&N President Jerry Schmidlkofer. Those assets include all of Grand Eagles equipment here and its former facility, which includes a 54,000-square-foot industrial building and four acres of land at 415 N. Fancher, he says.

He declines to disclose the terms of the transaction.

K&N, which is located in a 27,000-square-foot building at 611 E. Sprague, has moved its service department into the former Grand Eagle facility and plans to move the rest of its operations there by mid-May.

Schmidlkofer says K&N also has hired a handful of people from the former Grand Eagle operation, which like K&N was an industrial-equipment service and repair company. K&N currently employs 85 people65 in Spokane and a total of 20 at branch offices in Moses Lake and Missoula, Mont.and might add another 15 people later this year, most of whom likely would be former Grand Eagle employees, he says.

The new, larger facility allows K&N to work on larger pieces of equipment, Schmidlkofer says. This facility has a lot more handling capacity and has bigger equipment to do work with, he says of the former Grand Eagle building. We can do anything at this facility that the industry asks.

K&Ns customers include Kaiser Aluminum Corp., Avista Corp., and Ponderay Newsprint Co., as well as a variety of companies in the timber and mining industries. Although some industries that K&N serves are struggling, he says the companys services are diverse enough to ensure it maintains profitability.

Schmidlkofer has owned an interest in K&N since 1975 and a majority interest since 1986. His three sons, Steve, Bob, and John, all are part owners in the company and hold management positions there.

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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