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Employee Group Buys Out Irvine's Sterling Electric

January 03, 1989| Times Staff Writer and

A. O. Smith Corp. of Milwaukee announced Monday that it has sold its Sterling Electric Inc. subsidiary in Irvine to a group of Sterling employees including its president.

Sterling President Raymond E. Helton headed the buyout team, according to the announcement. Terms were not released.

Helton said in an interview that Sterling Electric manufactures power transmission equipment and electric motors for various companies, including Ford Motor Co. and several commercial food processing companies.

Sterling was one of the first motor companies in the country when it was founded in 1927 in Los Angeles, he said. The company, which employs about 65, moved to Irvine in 1970. A. O. Smith, a diversified manufacturer, acquired Sterling in 1980.

"Our charter for the first two or three years will be to service our customers," said Helton. He said the leveraged buyout was completed Dec. 31.

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