Local Co. Sells Majority Stake to Japanese Chemical Giant

Tokyo-based Sumitomo Chemical now owns a 76 percent stake in local insect control business MGK.

Golden Valley-based insect control business McLaughlin Gormley King Company (MGK) said Tuesday that longtime investor and business partner Sumitomo Chemical has acquired a majority stake in the company.

Founded in 1902, MGK sells insect control products in the professional pest control, animal health, and consumer home and pet product markets. Its products are sold in more than 60 countries.

Tokyo-based Sumitomo Chemical, meanwhile, is an international giant in the chemicals and life sciences industries. Its fiscal 2011 sales totaled roughly $23.7 billion.

Sumitomo Chemical became an MGK shareholder in 1989, and it has now boosted its stake from about 33 percent to roughly 76 percent. Under the terms of the deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, MGK will become a subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical.

The Gullickson family, which has been MGK’s majority shareholder for four generations, remains a minority shareholder in the business and is “optimistic about future prospects for the company,” MGK said. Steven Gullickson will retain his role as president of the company.

MGK Marketing Manager Ian Thorburn told Twin Cities Business on Tuesday that, in addition to its Golden Valley headquarters, the company operates a manufacturing facility in Chaska. About 100 of its 250 total employees are based in Minnesota; the others primarily work for international subsidiaries. He declined to disclose the privately held company’s annual revenues.

MGK has partnered with Sumitomo Chemical since the 1970s to bring the Japanese company’s technologies to the United States, Thorburn said. MGK is “excited” to become a Sumitomo Chemical subsidiary “because long-term it means access to new technologies,” he added.

Sumitomo Chemical said that it will “further cooperate with MGK to realize synergies within the Sumitomo Chemical group, including collective research and development activities to more rapidly bring innovative technologies to market.”