AUGUSTA — Augusta-based Kenway Corp., which manufactures products from composite materials for a wide range of industries, announced Monday that it has been acquired by a Pennsylvania company, Creative Pultrusions Inc.

Kenway and its 70 employees are expected to remain in Augusta as a division of CPI, which itself is a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based Hill & Smith Holdings PLC.

“As to the employees and the Augusta facility, this acquisition is very positive,” Kenway President Ian Kopp said in a statement. “CPI has signed a lease to remain in Augusta, and all employees are being retained. Though the majority owners Kenneth Priest and Michael Priest have retired, I will continue as president.”

Kenway and CPI are privately held companies, and few other details about the transaction were available.

In announcing the deal, Kopp said that over the past two decades Kenway has found itself working with CPI as a vendor, a customer and a competitor.

“We were always very impressed,” he said. “When presented with the opportunity to join CPI as part of Hill & Smith’s global composites manufacturer holdings, the decision was easy. They are a company who shares our values, our business philosophy and our vision for the future of the composites industry.”

Kenway got its start seven decades ago in central Maine as a boat builder. Kenneth G. Priest started Kenway Boats in 1947, building and selling wooden boats called runabouts. Over time, Kenway started producing fiberglass boats and using other composite materials.

In 1966, Kenway Corp. shifted its focus to serve industrial clients and eventually opened up a production plant on Riverside Drive in Augusta.

Today, the company uses composite materials to design and manufacture custom products for a wide range of clients in industries involved in transportation and light rail, marine, mining and mineral processing, pulp and paper, and infrastructure and bridges.

Over the years, Kenway bought other companies that put it back in the boat-making business: the New Hampshire-based Maritime Skiff in 2007 and the North Carolina-based Southport Boatworks in 2011.

Kopp said Monday that Southport Boats LLC will continue to be owned by him, Kenneth Priest and Michael Priest. But as the companies grow, that business will likely be looking for a location in the Augusta area into which it can expand.

In late 2015, Kenway acquired the assets of Harbor Technologies LLC, a Brunswick company that had recently dissolved. As a division of Kenway, its offerings were expected to expand from pilings and fenders made from composite materials to include beams, lumber and other products.

As a part of CPI, Kenway is now part of a global organization.

In a news release Monday about the acquisition, Shane Weyant, CPI’s chief executive officer and president, said Kenway’s products and manufacturing techniques complement his company’s strategic growth and focus.

“The Priest family needs to be commended for their inspiration and their success in developing Kenway as the market leader over the last 70 years,” Weyant said. “We welcome the entire Kenway team to our team and are grateful this third-generation family business entrusts CPI with upholding Kenway’s excellent reputation and advancing the company forward.”

CPI, located in Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, was established in 1973. According to the news release, Hill & Smith Holdings PLC is an international group in the design, manufacture and supply of infrastructure products and galvanizing services, which provide protection from corrosion.

Jessica Lowell can be contacted at 621-5632 or at:

[email protected]centralmaine.com

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