Detroit Lakes-based SJE purchased L.W. Allen, a manufacturer of water and wastewater controllers, in an effort to expand the company's brands and reach in the region, according to a press release from the company on Aug. 2.

The purchase of the Madison, Wis.-based L.W. Allen should bring several leading brands of pumps, motors, slide gates, pump stations and accessories under the SJE family of controllers and expand capacity to customers, stated Dave Thomas, president and CEO of SJE, in the press release.

"When we first met the team at L. W. Allen, it just seemed to be a natural fit with SJE," said Thomas. "By leveraging our expertise across multiple locations, we will offer the L. W. Allen customers expanded capacity and additional resources to solve their business requirements."

The purchase is also expected to give SJE expanded market share into Wisconsin, said Jay Dienst, vice president of marketing and general manager at SJE.

"Our municipal business is probably about 30% to 40% of our total business, so this will obviously increase that," said Dienst. "They have a very strong brand … so, we'll kind of try to provide more of the infrastructure … so that way they can be freed up to focus on growing the business."

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L.W. Allen serves as a kind of manufacturers representative for municipalities for their project needs, said Dienst, while Altronex, part of L.W. Allen, manufactures controllers that are tailor-made for customer needs.

He also said no big changes are expected for either company due to the acquisition and they will be operating as "business as usual."

The 45 employees at L.W. Allen should augment SJE's engineered products team and allow both growing companies to continue to expand, according to the release.

"This evolution will definitely enhance our already strong customer service model and allow us to grow as a company to provide more offerings and even better response to customers throughout the region," said Jim Cook, president and pump systems general manager of L.W. Allen.

SJE offers a variety of control products for residential, commercial, municipal and industrial entities. The company has six different locations in the U.S. and one facility in Suzhou, China.