Prime Tanning Company Announces Merger with Cudahy Tanning Company

Nov 09, 2007, 00:00 ET from Prime Tanning Company

    BERWICK, Maine and CUDAHY, Wis., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Prime Tanning
 Company today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge with
 Cudahy Tanning Company. The operations of the combined companies will
 create the largest premium leather producer in North America, with revenues
 in excess of $250 million.
     Prime Tanning previously had announced in August a definitive agreement
 to merge with Irving Tanning Company; Cudahy Tanning will add tremendous
 strength to that alliance. The combined businesses will be called Prime
 Tanning Company and will be led by President and CEO Bob Moore, and
 Co-Chairmen Mike and Steve Kaplan.
     As a result of this merger, all Cudahy side-leather finishing will be
 transitioned into Prime's Hartland facility, (formerly Irving Tanning), and
 the Cudahy facility will be closed. William R. "BJ" Law, current CEO of
 Cudahy, and other key personnel including its Technical Director will
 continue with Prime to ensure a smooth and comprehensive transfer of all
 customer leather production into the Hartland facility. The Cudahy tannery
 will remain in operation until the transition is complete.
     The addition of Cudahy's customers will broaden Prime's account base to
 include other leading footwear, accessory, and specialty leather brands.
 Prime Tanning's current customers include premier brands such as Born, H.
 H. Brown, Coach, Cole Haan, Justin, Rocky Boot, SAS, Sofft, Timberland,
 Wolverine and the U.S. Military.
     Prime's CEO Bob Moore commented: "This merger with Cudahy brings
 tremendous technical, R&D, and customer synergies to Prime that are
 unmatched in our industry. We welcome the Cudahy team and we look forward
 to the significant benefits these mergers will offer to all of our
 collective stakeholders."
     Cudahy's CEO BJ Law commented: "This is both an exciting opportunity
 and a difficult personal decision for me. My family has been producing
 leather in Cudahy, WI for over 60 years. The closing of this facility will
 end a very important chapter in our family's history. However, the
 opportunities that lie before us with this merger are countless. Cudahy
 Tanning will add significant competencies, marketing opportunities, and
 technical resources to Prime. The Irving and Prime facilities are truly
 world class operations, and by working together, will eliminate many of the
 challenges we currently face in the domestic tanning industry."
     About Prime Tanning
     Prime Tanning Co., Inc. operates the largest vertically integrated wet
 blue and side-leather finishing tanneries in the United States, with annual
 capacities of 125 million feet and 30 million feet, respectively.
 Headquartered in Berwick, Maine, Prime employs 450 people at its St.
 Joseph, Missouri and Berwick, Maine facilities. Mike and Steve Kaplan are
 grandsons of Morris Kaplan, who founded the business in 1914, and the sons
 of Leonard D. Kaplan, who was Chairman of the Board for nearly 40 years.
 Prime's Web site is
     About Cudahy Tanning
     Cudahy Tanning Company specializes in unique and high tech leathers for
 the show, saddle, accessory and sporting goods markets. Cudahy Tanning
 currently operates an 8.5 million foot finished side-leather operation, and
 employs approximately 100 people at its Cudahy, Wisconsin facility. William
 R. "BJ" Law currently serves as CEO. He is the son of William L. Law and
 grandson of William Bancroft Law who founded the company in 1945. Cudahy's
 Web site is
     About Irving Tanning Company
     Irving Tanning Company is one of the largest side-leather tanneries in
 the United States, with capacity to finish over 30 million feet of leather
 per year. Established in 1925, Irving operates a modern tanning facility at
 its headquarters in Hartland, Maine that employs approximately 115 people,
 and finishes leather in India through a joint venture with Bhartiya
 International, LTD. Irving's Web site is

SOURCE Prime Tanning Company