Hughes Company: Business executive, Blackthorne Partners combine to purchase Hughes Company

Ross Lund, Hughes Equipment Co. – 920-623-2000

John Syburg, Blackthorne Partners – 262-786-5100

Significant Growth Planned for Food Processing Machinery


Hughes Company, a Columbus, Wis.-based manufacturer and international distributor of

stainless steel equipment for the food processing industry, has been acquired by Blackthorne

Partners Ltd., and former Trostel, Ltd., executive Ross Lund, who has become president and

chief executive officer of the company.

“We have aggressive growth goals for the company, which I know we can achieve based on the

company’s existing staff of highly skilled and dedicated employees, our existing manufacturing

technology, and the new resources we will bring to the operation,” Lund said. “We will help our

customers become even more productive through investments in our people and in technology.”

The company is now known as Hughes Equipment Company, LLC.

Since 1961, the company has designed and manufactured standard and customized equipment

for the food industry. Its machinery is used for vegetable, pasta, rice, fruit and root crop

processing and preparation.

John Syburg, a managing director at Blackthorne Partners in Brookfield, Wis., said the company

is well positioned for growth.

“Hughes Equipment Company has an impressive lineup of highly reliable products, unparalleled

customer service, and an incredibly talented staff,” he said. “We are confident we can build on

that great foundation, and meet our customers’ needs to an even greater degree,now and well

into the future.”

Lund called the employees at Hughes “some of the best in the business,” with expertise in

engineering, manufacturing and technology.

“We intend to further develop that talent and to provide them with the best technology,” he said.

“We plan on taking technology to a new level in this industry,” he added.

Lund, a Certified Public Accountant with an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has

held leadership positions at corporations including Trostel, Ltd., Lake Geneva, Wis., where he

was vice president and general manager at the Polymer Compounding Division and previously

director of finance and plant controller. Prior to his work at Trostel, Lund held a variety of

positions at Viasys Healthcare and John Deere.

Lund’s experience in various manufacturing environments, where he engaged lean

manufacturing techniques and technology enhancements, will be invaluable as Hughes Equipment Co. engages its growth plans, said Steve Balistreri, a managing director at

Blackthorne Partners.

Jeff Powell, the former president who purchased the company in 2008 and who led growth over

the past six years, will retain an interest in the company and serve as a consultant to Lund.

Hughes Equipment Co. will remain in its 60,000-square-foot facility at 1200 W. James St. in

Columbus, Wis., which has the capacity to handle the anticipated business growth, Lund said.

Along with new opportunities for existing employees, Lund anticipates the need for additional

employees as the growth plans unfold.