Changes for key businesses

Anyone remember what my favorite quote is regarding economic development? Something about “change” and it being the only constant? Well, we are coming off one of those exciting weeks of change in Marquette County.

Let’s start with our partners at Pioneer Surgical. Not only did they announce a new product line, they were purchased by Florida based RTI Biologics.

The new product line, Streamline Minimally Invasive Spinal Fixation System, allows treatments to be tailored to the patient for a more efficient streamlined implant experience.

And secondly, the acquisition. RTI Biologics is a Florida Based Company that is the leading provider of sterile biological implants for surgeries around the world. Under the agreement RTI will pay $130 million in cash to acquire all outstanding Pioneer stock. The combined company will broaden and diversify their portfolio and build on the success of each individual company.

The same day, our friends at Rio Tinto announced they entered into a definitive agreement for the Eagle Mine to be purchased by Toronto headquartered Lundin Mining Co.

Lundin Mining Co. is a diversified base metals mining company with operations in Portugal, Sweden and Spain. They will purchase 100 percent ownership stake in Rio Tinto Eagle Mine, LLC. The acquisition of the Eagle Mine fits well with Lundin Mining’s asset base and is the result of the disciplined approach they have been focused on. Project construction is more than halfway complete at the mine with initial production to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014.

You may be asking what this means for our local community, the employees and the future. The same questions are on my mind even though I know in economic development that outside and foreign investment in a community is viewed very positively. It means you have companies that are attractive and stable with growth opportunities in a great community that catches the eye of an investor.

Lundin Mining and RTI made great choices. The Eagle Mine and Pioneer Surgical, and more importantly, the people that make up these companies, are top notch. And they will continue to be the faces that we see. The leadership team from Lundin Mining were in town over the last week and met with Lake Superior Community Partnership officials. We were assured that the change in ownership will not change the people, the current commitments or the permits. This is good news as is their commitment to hit the ground running moving toward production in late 2014.

We are equally excited about the future potential for Pioneer Surgical’s operations. Added to RTI, this winning combination spells success for our community.

We are no stranger to change and it is with pride that I watch our community embrace new investment and new corporate citizens to our home. Add a strong work ethic and incredible quality of life to this welcoming environment and we can’t lose!

Editor’s note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.