Harken sells Wisconsin headquarters

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Harken, which manufactures marine hardware and accessories, has sold its 170,000-sq. foot facility in Wisconsin for $15 million as part of a sale-leaseback arrangement. Harken said it plans to use the proceeds to accelerate its growth.

“Harken is in the strongest position in its history economically,” Harken CEO Bill Goggins told Trade Only Today. “This was just a way to liquidate some real estate chips to invest bank into the business.”

The Pewaukee headquarters, which includes 30,000 square feet of offices, was constructed in 2010. Goggins said that the decision to build during the depths of the recession meant “a lot of real estate gains” during the current upswing in commercial real estate sales.

“We’re staying right where we are,” added Goggins. “But this capital gives us the opportunity to grow the company through acquisitions, rather than just organically. We’re not ready to announce anything yet.”

“We will certainly continue to focus on organic growth,” added co-owner and co-founder Peter Harken in a statement. “With this sale, we may also consider some strategic acquisition opportunities in our marine and industrial markets.”

Harken manufactures products in the U.S. and Italy. It has offices in 48 countries, with group offices in Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, and the U.K.

David Buckley and Jim Barry of Milwaukee-based The Barry Co. brokered the transaction. Barry said the Harken sale represents the largest industrial sale-leaseback deal in region this year.