AP NEWS

State to help Oxford manufacturer

November 12, 2018

After the unexpected death in October of the owner of an Oxford manufacturer that makes locomotive turntables and people movers, the state of Connecticut plans to extend the company a loan of up to $1 million to keep it operational in the near term.

Macton owner Peter G. McGonagle died Oct. 23 at age 55, a dozen years after the Fairfield resident led a buyout of Macton Corp. after an earlier career with predecessor companies of Affinion Group in Stamford, and before that as a corporate lawyer with expertise on mergers.

Macton makes big turntables used to rotate locomotives onto new tracks at rail hubs, as well as for other applications ranging from revolving exhibits at trade shows to security barriers that can be rotated into position to prevent vehicles from entering a roadway. The company also produces jacks and lifts for locomotives, railcars and other vehicles, with Macton systems having been installed at a rail yard in New Haven that services Metro-North.

Macton was founded in 1947 and moved to Oxford in 1999. In 2006, it was sold by a private equity investment firm to McGonagle, who was previously an executive with Trilegiant and Cendant.

The manufacturer has its headquarters plant a few miles south of Interstate 84 in an Oxford industrial park that is home also to RBC Bearings, a publicly traded company that makes ball bearings and other components for the aerospace industry and other uses. Macton moved there in 1999, having previously been located in a singular, circular building at Danbury Municipal Airport that has been on the market for several years, priced currently at $2.1 million.

Macton would use the funds for restarting manufacturing operations in Oxford, according to Connecticut Innovations, with the state Department of Economic and Community Development stating it could invest as much as $300,000 in the deal. A Connecticut Innovations committee votes on the newest loan on Thursday, with a history of approving deal terms that proceed to a vote.

In 2014, Macton borrowed $650,000 from the state to purchase new equipment, and landed a $100,000 state grant the following year. In 2016, Macton obtained a $4.4 million in credit from Rockland Trust of Rockland, Mass.

Includes prior reporting by Luther Turmelle and Dirk Perrefort.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

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