Vilter Manufacturing Corp., Cudahy, Wis., has been acquired by the private- equity firm J. P. Kotts & Co. The transaction is designed to enable the company to build on its existing growth in the refrigeration and process industries worldwide.

The change will allow Vilter to pursue business opportunities, accelerate the development of new products and make strategic acquisitions as they arise. Knotts has experience in the oil and gas industry, an area outside Vilter's traditional industrial refrigeration market but one it may pursue.

Existing management, including president and CEO Ron Prebish, will continue to operate Vilter.

"We have a team of exceptionally talented people in place, and we have spent and will continue to spend heavily on new products and new technologies to strengthen Vilter's position as a technology leader in the industry," Prebish said.