WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Otter Tail Corp. is negotiating to sell its North Dakota-based wind tower manufacturing company for $20 million, leaving the future of nearly 400 workers uncertain.
Minnesota-based Otter Tail has not identified the potential buyer for the DMI Industries Inc. plants, property and equipment in West Fargo, N.D., and Tulsa, Okla. The company said in a statement that the transaction is expected to close no later than next Jan. 3. The plants are to close late this fall once current orders are met.
The future of the 216 workers in West Fargo and the 167 workers in Tulsa is uncertain. Otter Tail spokesman Michael Olsen said in a statement that Otter Tail hopes the new owners "see the value in our plants and skilled workforce," but the company's second-quarter earnings report said there has been a reduced demand for wind towers in part because of uncertainty surrounding the future of a federal tax break for wind energy.
DMI Industries was founded in 1978.
"It's kind of a sad day for West Fargo," Mayor Rich Mattern told The Forum newspaper. "They've been a prominent company in West Fargo for quite a number of years."