Beneke’s acquisition of Sanderson Plumbing Products saves 400 jobs

March 19, 2012

Economic Development

In a move that ensures Sanderson Plumbing Products Inc. will remain in Columbus and keep its 400-person workforce intact, Beneke Magnolia Inc. has acquired the 110-year-old maker of toilet seats.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided the locally-owned Beneke Magnolia a $2.5 million loan to assist with the acquisition. The MDA made the loan through its Existing Industry Loan Program. The Momentum Mississippi program also provided yet-to-be-disclosed incentives.

The Columbus-Lowndes Development Link also assisted with the retention project, officials say.

Commenting on the acquisition and job retention,

Gov. Phil Bryant said. “The State of Mississippi stands committed to helping our existing companies retain their workers and thrive over the long term.”

Established as the Findeisen-Kropf Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Sanderson Plumbing Products has been manufacturing toilet seats since 1893. Henry Beneke Sr. bought the company in 1939 and moved the company to Columbus. While the company’s name has changed a number of times over the years, it has been in continuous production in Columbus since first establishing manufacturing operations there in the 1930s.

“We feel that these jobs and this facility are invaluable to Columbus, Lowndes County and the state of Mississippi, and we look forward to growing and expanding our business,” said Tom Whitaker, CEO of Beneke Magnolia.

Beneke Magnolia Inc. is a full line manufacturer of toilet seats, producing molded wood, injection molded solid plastic, aircraft, healthcare, manufactured home, OEM and soft vinyl toilet seats. The company was the exclusive supplier of toilet seats to NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, and its products are sold worldwide.

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