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Germany’s Klüber Lubrication München SE & Co. KG, has acquired TRAXIT International GmbH, whose operations include TRAXIT North America.|

A press release said that with the acquisition, the TRAXIT Group now becomes part of the Klüber Lubrication Group. Based in Germany with manufacturing sites also in China and the U.S., TRAXIT provides the wire drawing industry with a complete range of lubricants for all wire applications. It has subsidiaries, agents or representatives present in over 150 countries.

TRAXIT will continue to be responsible for the operative management of its businesses. The company’s headquarters will remain in Schwelm.

Questions sent by WJI about whether any organizational changes were planned, led to the following rely: “There are strategic and operational synergies that are currently being examined, prioritized and then implemented.”

The International Wire Group (IWG) announced that it has acquired Owl Wire and Cable (Owl Wire), a manufacturer of bare and tinned wire with three plants, from Marmon Holdings, Inc.

A press release said that the acquisition of Owl Wire, a family company founded in 1954, includes its three New York plants in Canastota, Rome and Boonville. It said that the deal will benefit both companies, expanding IWG’s global manufacturing footprint while enabling Owl Wire to add to its existing copper capabilities as a high volume, heavy bare and tinned wire supplier.

“This new partnership is a ‘win-win’ for the loyal customers and workforces of both IWG and Owl, and for the communities we are privileged to serve,” said IWG President and CEO Greg Smith. “By integrating Owl’s manufacturing capabilities and superior customer service into our already market-leading company, we will create a unique platform to serve current and future customers. The new IWG will continue to deliver high-quality, precise wire and cable products for mission-critical applications that power our global economy. We know the Owl team well, and are thrilled to welcome them to IWG.”

“We are thrilled to join the IWG organization. In doing so, the combination of IWG and Owl will bring an unparalleled benefit to the industry, one with the broadest and deepest capabilities to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Bob Raiti, president of Owl Wire and Cable.

IWG, which was acquired in 2019 by Atlas Holdings, notes that it is the largest bare copper wire and copper wire products manufacturer in the U.S.

Per a spokesperson, Owl Wire has about 180 employees. The company’s management team will remain in place at this time, and any operational changes made would be focused “around improving service levels to IWG’s loyal customers.” 

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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