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Jiffy-tite of Lancaster and Batavia sold to Swiss company

Jiffy-tite, a Lancaster auto parts manufacturer, has been acquired by a Swiss company called Oetiker that makes clamps and connections for the auto industry in a deal that is not expected to result in big changes at Jiffy-tite’s operations.

Both companies make products that the auto industry uses to connect various parts. A big part of Jiffy-tite’s business is its quick connectors for fluid systems. A significant part of Oetiker’s business is its line of fluid connection clamps.

“Between the clamp technology at Oetiker and the quick-connect technology at Jiffy-tite, the new combined company may now offer more complete fluid connection solutions to its customers,” said Michael Rayhill, Jiffy-tite’s president, who will remain with the company under its new ownership.

Oetiker plans to keep Jiffy-tite’s plants in Lancaster and Batavia, which employ the vast majority of the company’s more than 300 workers, Rayhill said.

“Oetiker intends to focus on adding value to Jiffy-tite as opposed to creating cost-savings synergies,” he said. “Jiffy-tite will continue to hire additional people here in Western New York and expand their facilities.”

Rayhill said the sale has been in the works for more than a year. Jiffy-tite, which has about $90 million in annual sales, has grown rapidly since the recession ended in 2009, tripling its revenues during that time, as the auto industry has rebounded and the company add new products, from oil thermostats to quick-connecting couplings for the liquid propane and compressed natural gas markets, that are offshoots of its core automotive coupling products.

Jiffy-tite gets more than half of its sales from customers located outside the United States, and the company has been slowly building a presence in Europe, including a sales office in Frankfurt, Germany. But the process of establishing a physical presence in Europe took two years, and Rayhill said the company’s European’s sales were growing faster than its ability to build its European footprint.

“We therefore sought out a partner which would enable us to continue to grow and secure the future of our current employees and facilities,” he said.

That ultimately led Jiffy-tite to Oetiker, a third-generation family-owned business that has about $300 million in annual sales and about 1,500 employees at more than 20 sites around the world.