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Thursday August 21, 2014
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Capital Partnership

 

continued

Nub Turner managed to borrow $7.5 million to buy the plant, which he renamed GT Products. Many such "leveraged buyouts" end up in bankrupcty, because heavy debt loads leave no margin for error. But with the help of Rudy Bergsma, a King-Seeley engineer Nub lured out of retirement, GT developed an improved gas tank vent valve that, by the mid-1990s, had found its way into most cars built in America. Long after every other downtown factory had closed, GT Products was humming, with a workforce of nearly 200 people.

Then, in 1998, the Cleveland-based Eaton Corporation purchased GT in what Nub calls "a very profitable sale." The proceeds, the amount of which he won't disclose, provided the genesis of the Amherst Fund.

Eaton kept GT's products, but sold the factory building in 2004. Remodeled and expanded, it's now one of downtown's most desirable addresses, the Liberty Lofts condominium.

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