Universal Mfg. Co. sells assets of aerial platform manufacturer Man Lift

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Updated Apr 18, 2019

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Universal Mfg. Co. has announced it has sold the assets of aerial work platform manufacturer Man Lift Mfg., according to a notice on the company’s website.

Proceeds from the sale of Man Lift and Metal Works Mfg. Co., another Universal subsidiary, to I.F. Armor International of North Carolina went to Security First Bank, the notice says. The company reports that the proceeds were not enough to retire the debt owed the bank.

Assets of Metal Works, which manufactured metal fabrication solutions for commercial, government and defense uses, were also sold, the notice said. Both Metal Works and Man Lift operations were in Shelby, North Carolina.

Universal posted the announcement on its website March 7. The notice said the transactions were effective February 28 and that all employees were terminated and operations ceased. However, it appears I.F. Armor has operations continuing in Shelby. I.F. Armor lists Patricia Bingham, vice president of Industrial Fabricators in Gastonia, North Carolina, as its registered agent. Gary Farmer, who has been an executive at Universal subsidiary Ultra Armoring, is the new general manager for I.F. Armor International LLC and Man Lift, according to his LinkedIn page.

Universal continues to operate Ultra Armoring, which manufactures ballistic and armor protection and is based in Shelby, and UMC-ReTech, which remanufactures auto parts and is based in Algona, Iowa.

The company’s 2018 third-quarter earnings report showed that Man Lift sales had dropped 73 percent during the quarter. Man Lift also saw gross margins decline due to higher material, labor and warranty costs, the report said.