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Wire Journal News

Jingye Steel has entered into a deal to buy British Steel, which had previously agreed to be sold to a buyer—Oyak, a Turkish army pension fund—that later dropped its offer because the operations were not commercially viable.

Per published reports, China’s Jingye Steel, via its U.K. operations, has entered into a contract to buy British Steel. British Steel’s Official Receiver and others part of the process, confirmed that contracts have been entered into with Jingye Steel (UK) Ltd. and Jingye Steel (UK) Holding Ltd., to acquire the business and assets of British Steel Limited in liquidation, including the steelworks at Scunthorpe and U.K. mills and the subsidiary businesses of FN Steel, British Steel France and TSP Engineering.

The deal has yet to be finalized, and is conditional on items that include regulatory approvals and certain employee consultation procedures. “The parties are working together to conclude a sale as soon as reasonably practicable...and the business will continue to trade as normal, during the period between exchange and completion, whilst assisting Jingye to plan for the future.”

Per the reports, Jingye is a privately owned Chinese corporation founded and led by Li Ganpo a former senior Communist Party official who became a self-made industrial tycoon. His Jingye Group has interests in steel and manufacturing, chemicals, real estate, finance, trade, pharmaceutical, hotels and tourism. It has more than 22,000 employees.

Briish Steel, which includes wire rod in its product mix, was described as Britain’s second largest steelmaker after Tata Steel. The steelmaker was put into liquidation in May, years after being acquired by private equity firm Greybull Capital LLP for 1 pound.

The offer from Oyak has been reported as having been between $73 million and $85 million. At one point, Oyak had told The Guardian that it was considering doubling the production capacity of British Steel.

Published in Industry News

U.S.-based Lee Spring reports that it has acquired Longcroft Engineering, a U.K. manufacturer of custom springs that has a plant in Todmorden, Lancashire.

A press release said that Longcroft Engineering "has been a key strategic partner of Lee Spring for any years, with a complementary skill set that is a natural fit for the enhancement of our global operations."

Lee Spring CEO Steve Kemp said that "the acquisition of Longcroft Engineering expands our capabilities to support continued growth within the U.K. and across the greater European market. They are a talented team with broad spring manufacturing experience and particular expertise in short-run prototyping of complex springs made from both wire as well as flat materials."

Longcroft Engineering, which will continue to serve customers from its facility in Todmorden, will now also have access to a wider range of capabilities through Lee Spring’s global manufacturing operations, the release said. "This acquisition enhances the offering available to Lee Spring customers worldwide with expanded manufacturing operations located in the U.K."

Published in Industry News

Liberty Steel, part of the global GFG Alliance, further expanded its footprint in the U.S. steel downstream products market with the acquisition of Johnstown Wire Technologies (JWT) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

A press release notes that JWT is the largest producer of value-added carbon and alloy wire in North America, and that the deal “gives Liberty valuable capacity to manufacture a range of high-value carbon and alloy wire products for multiple end markets including the infrastructure, automotive, utility and consumer sectors.”

The Johnstown plant, described as an advanced manufacturing facility, has some 250 employees, the release said. They will complement Liberty’s melting and rolling operations at Georgetown, South Carolina, and Peoria, Illinois. Combined with its scrap processing plant in Tampa, Florida, the acquisition “will firmly embed the business along the full value chain in the U.S. steel market.”

Liberty Steel entered the U.S. market in 2017 by acquiring ArcelorMittal’s Georgetown Steel mill and followed up with the purchase of Keystone Consolidated Industries, including its flagship Peoria mill, in 2018.

“Today’s announcement marks another major step by Liberty towards its target of quickly becoming a market leader in the American wire rod sector,” the release said. It noted that the 638,000-sq-foot Johnstown site has been a high-profile steel manufacturing facility for more than a century, and that it is a top-three U.S. producer of the types of steel that will be needed to modernize America’s aging infrastructure: CHQ, electro-galvanized, aluminized and spring wire.

JWT currently holds the number one market position in the electro-galvanized and aluminized sectors, the release said. “Liberty Steel intends to drive growth at JWT as the U.S. updates its infrastructure and electricity networks, thereby increasing demand for steel products such as support cables and guard rails for bridges and for electrical power lines.”

With more than half of JWT’s output sold into the transportation market, Liberty is also aiming to capitalize on continued growth in U.S. vehicle production, the release said. It is the third largest producer in the U.S. of CHQ wire, which is used in automotive products such as engine block bolts and brake pad rivets. The acquisition will also add substantially to Liberty’s capability to meet the “Made in America” specifications required for public infrastructure and utility contracts.

“This is another very significant step towards our ambitious U.S. goals,” said GFC Chief Investment Officer Grant Quasha. “JWT is a profitable business with a skilled workforce and tremendous pedigree in the industry, so we look forward to welcoming it into the GFG USA family and helping it build an even stronger future.”

GFG Group Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said that he was thrilled with the deal. “The addition of high-quality specialized facilities at Johnstown further strengthens our existing facilities at Georgetown and Peoria.”

“We are excited to be joining the GFG family of global businesses and see this as a tremendous opportunity to further our position as a leading manufacturer of steel wire in North America,” said Johnstown Wire Technologies President and CEO Jack Miller.

Published in Industry News

International Wire Group Holdings, Inc. (IWG)—which per its website is the largest bare copper wire and copper wire products manufacturer in the U.S., with operations in Europe—announced that it has agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Atlas Holdings LLC (Atlas) for $10.70 a share.

A press release said that IWG’s board of directors unanimously approved the transaction, and recommended that stock holders approve the deal. Atlas owns and operates 18 manufacturing and distribution businesses, with more than 17,000 employees and 150 facilities worldwide. Those sectors include automotive products and services, building materials, capital equipment, chemicals, construction, energy, equipment fabrication, industrial distribution, metals and metal fabrication, packaging and paper products.

The transaction, the release said, is also subject to approvals. If the deal goes forward, it would be expected to close early in the second quarter of 2019..

IWG, based in Camden, New York, with its subsidiaries, manufacture and market wire products that include bare and tin-plated copper wire, engineered wire products and high performance conductors for other insulated wire manufacturers and OEMs. It also has facilities in France, Italy and Poland.

Per its webpage, IWG—formed in 1995 through the combination of Wirekraft Industries and Omega Wire, joined that year by Ristance Corporation and Electro Components De Mexico—saw considerable growth in the following years. It expanded in 1996 with the addition of Dekko Wire Technologies amd Camden Wire in 1997, Spargo Wire and Italtrecce in 1998, Forissier in 1999, PD High Performance Conductors in 2006, Hamilton Products in 2008, Global Wire (Wyre Wynd, Negev, Montgomery Wire) in 2008 and Ffhoenix Cuivre in 2011.

Published in Industry News

Chroma Color Corporation (CCC) announced that it has acquired Polymer Concentrates Inc. (PCI), a privately held company that develops and manufactures color concentrates for the international plastics industry.

A press release said that acquiring PCI, based in Clinton, Massachusetts, further bolsters the manufacturing footprint of Chroma Color. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Over the past five decades, Polymer Concentrates Inc. has forged deep relationships with a wide range of customers in the automotive, communication technology, wire-cable, housewares, netting, packaging, and other specialty industries,” it said.

“We were very excited when we saw the opportunity to add Polymer Concentrates Inc. to the Chroma family,” said Chroma Color Corporation CEO Tom Bolger. “The company has a solid reputation in the marketplace and its facility is very close to our plant in Leominster, Massachusetts.” He added that the two companies complementary product lines, but distinctly different customer bases. “That makes this acquisition very attractive allowing us to offer a broader suite of products to the customers of both the legacy Chroma and PCI.”

Chroma Color Corporation serves multiple markets, including wire and cable. It was formed in 2018 when four well-established color concentrate companies (Breen, Hudson, Carolina, and Chroma Colors) combined their resources to form the single business entity.

Published in Industry News

TPC Wire and Cable Corp. reports that it has completed its acquisition of Canada’s Milrail, Inc., a deal that it said strengthens its position in the high-performance wire and cable market and expands Milrail’s presence in the U.S. and Mexico.

A press release said that Milrail, based in Point-Claire, Quebec, was founded in 1990, and supplies the rail, transit and military markets with wire, cable and interconnect devices. Milrail President Allan LaPlante said that being part of TPC will allow even better service to be provided.

“We’ve seen a shift in our customer’s thinking, a desire to work with larger companies with an extended reach,” LaPlante said in a statement. “Combining Milrail’s exceptional customer service and technical support with TPC’s broader commercial capabilities, allows our two companies to carry this torch into the future and throughout North America in the wire, cable and connectivity market.”

TPC President and CEO Jeff Crane said that TPC is focused on establishing the Milrail products in the U.S. and Mexican markets. “We are excited and committed to expand Milrail’s product and service reach, delivering their great tradition of quality to even more customers throughout North America,” he said in a statement.

This marks the second acquisition that TPC has made in the last two years. In September 2017, the company purchased Massillon, Ohio-based Electa Cord, a maker of of custom-molded cable assemblies, power cords, and cord sets for original equipment manufacturers.

Published in Industry News

U.K.-based Integer Research (Integer), which supplies subscription-based reports and consultancy and puts on industry events, has been acquired by Argus Media, a commodity price reporting agency.

A press release said that Integer, which was founded in 2003 by Philip Radbourne, Oliver Hatfield and Tim Cheyne, will expand the range and depth of services that U.K.-based Argus Media offers. Integer covers the wire and cable industry as well as industrial chemicals and fertilizers. While based in the U.K., it has offices in Asia and Latin America.

Radbourne, and other representatives from his company, frequently speak at industry events, including Interwire. He has also been part of numerous stories in WJI over the years, including a special joint report with WJI staff that ran in the January 2007 issue on the world’s top 50 cable companies that ran 29 editorial pages, by far the largest-ever feature.

Observed Argus Media Chairman and Chief Executive Adrian Binks, “Integer has a unique product offering and this, combined with Argus’ global reach and scale, will offer users powerful market intelligence and insight.”

“This is a natural cultural and strategic fit for Integer and we are excited to build on Argus’ existing global expertise in commodity markets and leverage its technology and platform strengths to the benefit of our customers,” said Integer Managing Director Tim Cheyne.

Argus is an independent media organization with almost 950 staff. It is headquartered in London and has 21 offices in the world’s principal commodity trading and production centers. Argus produces price assessments and analysis of international energy and other commodity markets, and offers bespoke consulting services and industry-leading conferences.

Published in Industry News

CommScope announced plans to acquire ARRIS International, a global entertainment and communications solutions provider, for $7.4 billion in what would be its largest-ever acquisition.

A press release said that once the deal is completed, “the newly combined company is expected to generate profitable growth in new markets and lead the way in wired and wireless communications.” As well as position the company to benefit from industry trends like network convergence, fibre, mobility, 5G, internet of things and the ever changing network and technology architectures.

“After a comprehensive evaluation of our business and the evolving industry we operate in, we are confident that combining with ARRIS is the best path forward for CommScope to grow and provide the greatest returns for shareholders,” said CommScope President and CEO Eddie Edwards. “CommScope and ARRIS will bring together a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions that neither company could otherwise achieve on its own. With ARRIS, we will access new and growing markets, and have greater technology, solutions and employee talent that will provide additional value and benefit to our customers and partners.”

The release said that the deal will enable the combined companies to be well positioned to capitalize on industry trends, unlock high-growth segments and increase their product-addressable market, increase product offerings and R&D capabilities, and strengthen their financial profile. “CommScope is an ideal partner for ARRIS,” said ARRIS CEO Bruce McClelland. “With CommScope, we expect to further advance ARRIS’ strategy to drive innovation across our iconic brands and pioneer the standards and pathways for tomorrow’s personalized, connected always-on consumer experience.”

In addition to the ARRIS acquisition, the Carlyle Group, a global asset manager, has re-established its ownership position in CommScope through a $1 billion minority equity investment as part of CommScope’s financing of the ARRIS deal. Of note, CommScope was spun off from General Instrument in 1997, the company to which Arris can trace back the heritage of the set-top box side of the business.

Published in Industry News
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