|The Marmon Group – Then|
The multi-billion dollar complex of businesses
known today as The Marmon Group began in
1953 when brothers Jay and Robert Pritzker acquired
The Colson Corporation, then an ailing manufacturer
with continuing sales of $3.5 million. Once Colson
was restored to profitability, other small businesses
were acquired or created. By the early 1960s, a
dozen companies had joined informally to benefit
from shared consulting and administrative services.
The Marmon Group name was adopted in 1964 after
the acquisition of the Marmon-Herrington Company,
successor to the Marmon Motor Car Company. An
early 20th century producer of fine passenger
automobiles, Marmon also manufactured the car that
won the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911.
With the 1976 acquisition of Cerro Corporation,
combined revenues for Marmon Group member
businesses doubled to nearly $1 billion and the
organization grew more diverse. By this time,
member companies manufactured products including
automotive equipment, metal products and materials, electrical and electronic wire and cable, retail store
fixtures and more. The 1981 acquisition of
Trans Union Corporation added businesses that manufacture and lease railroad tank cars, provide
consumer credit information and produce water purification systems, fasteners and other products. Combined revenues that year approached $3 billion.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, The Marmon Group
of companies expanded via internal investment and
multiple smaller acquisitions in industries where
member businesses already had a presence, including
information management, retail store equipment, wire
and cable and others.
In January 2002, Robert Pritzker concluded his five
decade tenure at Marmon. Thomas Pritzker became
Chairman and John Nichols was named
Chief Executive Officer. The current decade has seen
The Marmon Group organize into core business
sectors dedicated to supporting growth in their
respective industries. At the start of 2005, TransUnion,
an information-based business that was unique within
the largely manufacturing Marmon organization, was
established as a stand-alone operation. In
January 2006, Mr. Nichols became Vice Chairman of Marmon and was succeeded as CEO by Frank Ptak.
In March 2008, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquired
majority interest in The Marmon Group of companies.
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