Twenty-five years after joining Palisades Sheet Metal, Jeff Malchow bought out partners John Redlin, Joe Viotto, and Ken Birling to take sole ownership of the Menasha-based company. With 10 employees, Palisades specializes in residential and commercial heating and cooling in the Fox Valley.
Palisades, located at 1475 Racine Road, Menasha, sold the company in a three-step process. First, the company started working on a buyout plan with Malchow in 2002. Second, Malchow bought 25 percent of the company in 2013. The third and final step was today, when Malchow bought 100 percent of the company’s stock and real estate.
“This process not only positioned Jeff to buy the company in the future, it also increased the value of Palisades’ business and secured Jeff as the service manager long term. It’s a strategy that all small business owners should consider,” said John P. Kelly, of Kelly Business Advisors. “Jeff’s wife, Gail, was great to work with and was part of every decision in the process, supporting her husband.”
Viotto founded Palisades in 1977 after working with Redlin and Birling at Menasha Sheet Metal. A year later, Redlin, Birling, and Viotto became partners.
“We just wanted to be our own bosses,” Viotto said.
Gary Malchow, Jeff Malchow’s father, was the company’s first employee. Jeff Malchow was hired as Birling’s helper in 1993.
“Hiring Jeff was the best thing Palisades ever did,” Viotto said. “He’s very good for the company. He’s like his dad; very talented, good with people, good at his job. It didn’t take long for us to see that.”
Malchow said he plans to officially rename the company to its commonly used name, Palisades Heating and Cooling. He also plans to update technology and hire additional technicians to expand the business, while continuing to provide high-quality service that his employees are known for, in the Fox Valley.
“We have good employees who have been with us for a long time. They’re experienced and good with customers,” Malchow said.
The three partners selling will remain with Palisades as consultants and part-time employees.
“They will see me in the shop two or three days a week helping to prep jobs like I have been doing,” Birling said.
“There’s not going to be a lot of new faces. It’s still the same company,” Malchow said.
Assisting with the sale were accountants Brien Batley and crew of Batley CPA, attorneys Gerald Rammer of von Briesen & Roper and Doug Hahn of Menn Law, Steve Barry, Vice President of Commercial Banking, Nicolet National Bank, and Business Broker John P. Kelly of Kelly Business Advisors.