NEWS Axel Johnson Acquires Brazeway, Inc.

Axel Johnson Acquires Brazeway, Inc.

December 10, 2018 Erika Cafarella

On Monday, December 10, Axel Johnson became the majority owner of Brazeway, Inc., the leading designer and manufacturer of critical aluminum components serving global OEMs in the HVAC, refrigeration, automotive and energy industries.

With over 800 employees, Brazeway operates from its headquarters in Adrian, Michigan, and three manufacturing facilities in Shelbyville, Indiana; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Cienega de Flores, Mexico.  A third generation family company, led by Stephanie Hickman Boyse, the company has a strong legacy of innovation and manufacturing excellence.

Brazeway was founded in 1946 to prove that tight tolerance aluminum tubing was a feasible and more compelling alternative to copper tubing in refrigeration applications.  The company realized immediate commercial success, and over the coming decades Brazeway continued to push the boundaries of aluminum alloy tubing in heat exchange applications, ranging from novel evaporator designs to bespoke alloys and manufacturing processes.  Most recently, Brazeway has successfully led the transition of indoor air conditioning coils from copper to aluminum.

Today, Brazeway continues to make advances and create value for customers with the same spirit of continuous improvement and innovation that motivated its founding.

In addition to its strong engineering and operating capabilities, Brazeway has demonstrated firm alignment with the values of Axel Johnson.  Three generations of Hickman ownership have created a business culture wherein employees are regarded and treated as family, and where the company has maintained a commitment to supporting the communities in which its employees live and work.

Stephanie Hickman Boyse, president of Brazeway said, “Finding a partner like Axel Johnson is rare, as they have a unique business model as well as shared values.  It was critical to our family and management team that we assure the success and growth of Brazeway into future generations, carrying on the great tradition upon which this company was founded.  We looked for a partner who will retain our culture and commitment to the communities we call home, who will offer opportunities for the growth of our people, who will share the philosophies of relationships and value creation for our customers and suppliers, and who has the financial strength to ensure the continued success and growth into the next generation of family ownership.  We are excited to work with this great team and continue to grow Brazeway together.”


“As an owner, we look for strong ideas, great people and culture, proven leadership, and the potential to grow and build a business for the long-term,” Axel Johnson President and CEO Mike Milligan said.  “We invest in a company only when we are convinced that its leadership and employees also share our ownership values – where they remain enthusiastic about, and committed to, their company’s future and as yet unrealized potential.  Where they are eager to pursue new ideas, take risks, and bring novel products and services to market.  Where they believe that how they go about running their business, and the impact they have on their customers, trade partners and communities, is as important as the products they sell.

We welcome Brazeway to the Axel Johnson family and very much look forward to all that we will accomplish together.”

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