After a parting of the ways over 60 years ago, Harry Miller Corp and The CJ Haas Company have “re-united” as the Harry Miller Corp. announces the purchase of the metalworking products portion of Haas TCM, formerly known as AEI, LLC. This acquisition effectively rejoins the original segments of the company which incorporated in January 1936 and split into two companies ten years later.
Founders Harry L. Miller and Charles J. Haas were originally employees of Quaker Chemical and Houghton Int’l before forming the Haas-Miller Corporation in 1936 to meet the specialty chemical needs of the textile, leather and paper trades. With the onset of WWII, much of the manufacturing base in Philadelphia turned to the steel and metalworking industries (as did much of the country) and Haas-Miller pivoted to meet those industrial needs both locally and in regions to the north and the Midwest.
In 1946, when Haas-Miller disbanded, the Harry Miller Corporation remained at the original 4th and Bristol Street location in North Philadelphia. The CJ Haas Company was established on American Street, also in north Philadelphia and was later renamed “Haas TCM” to reflect its modern emphasis on total chemical management. The metalworking portion of the original company was continued under the umbrella of AEI, LLC, a subsidiary of Haas TCM. Over the years, both specialty chemical companies competed for the business in metalworking shops and steel mills.
Despite the differences in the way the companies developed products and customer markets, there were some remarkable similarities between the two companies. John S. Entwisle succeeded his father in law to run Harry Miller Corp and John was followed by his son, Bruce K. Entwisle. Jack Fortin (formerly of Quaker Chemical) bought the Haas Corporation from CJ Haas in 1975 and was succeeded by his son, Thad Fortin, in 1997. Both continue as their respective company’s CEO.
“Thad and I knew each other casually over the years and we maintained an intermittent dialogue. In the second quarter of 2009, as our respective needs changed, we started talking conceptually about an acquisition of a portion of Thad’s business,” said Harry Miller President, Bruce Entwisle.
“In short, it appeared to be a “win/win” proposition. Thad’s team meshed well with our management group and the transfer was about as “seamless” as one could hope, given the fact that they were discontinuing production and both parties had to maintain a vibrant customer base.”
“Trust was paramount in getting the deal done and I think it worked out well for all 3 parties: Harry Miller Corp., Haas TCM and the customer base!”
Harry Miller Corp now owns Haas’ chemical product client list, formulations and trade names while Haas TCM will concentrate their offerings on total chemical management services.
Bruce K. Entwisle, President
Harry Miller Corp.
4309 N. Lawrence St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140