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Wire Journal News

5/7/2021:  Kinderhook Industries, LLC (Kinderhook) announced that it has acquired Cameron Wire & Cable, Inc., a leading distributor of commercial and industrial wire, cable and related accessories.

A press release said that Robert Cameron, who founded the company and served as president, will continue his involvement and be on the board of directors. Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Cameron Wire & Cable supplies Cameron-branded copper, aluminum and specialty wire and cable products that are sold to the renewable energy, building wire, industrial and utility end markets. It also provides value-added services that include paralleling, cutting, kitting, harness assembly and development of custom engineered products for unique applications. It serves its customers out of a strategic footprint of distribution centers spanning the continental U.S.

The release did not cite the sales price, but Kinderhook Managing Director Paul Cifelli said that Cameron is “retaining a significant minority stake.” Kinderhook will add two of its operating partners—Ed Flynn, former CEO of International Wire Group, and Craig York, CEO of Kinderhook portfolio company, Copperweld—to Cameron Wire & Cable’s management and board of directors. The two men, who have more than 40 years of collective experience in the wire and cable industry, will provide operational and strategic expertise in support of Kinderhook and management.

Partnering with Kinderhook will allow us to accelerate our growth plan in Cameron’s core and adjacent industry verticals, said Robert Cameron. “In particular, I’m very excited to pursue complementary add-on acquisitions that will help continue to grow our franchise and value-added capabilities.”

“Robert Cameron has successfully led the company to a position of industry leadership in just over a decade, and we look forward to working with him on expanding the Company’s products, services and end markets,” Cifelli said. “Cameron Wire & Cable is a valuable addition to Kinderhook’s rapidly growing wire and cable franchise, and we are excited to help facilitate the acceleration of the company’s already impressive growth.”

Founded in 2003, Kinderhook Industries, LLC, is a private investment firm that manages over $3.3 billion of committed capital. In 2019 it acquired the Copperweld Group, Inc., which last November acquired Copperhead Industries, a Minnesota-based provider of specialty tracer wire products and related equipment.

5/7/2021: OmniCable has agreed to buy Houston Wire & Cable Co. (HWCC) in a $91 million deal that would combine their complementary businesses, products and footprint to create a national leader in the redistribution field.

A press release said that the deal was approved by HWCC’s board of directors, and is expected to get approval at a May 25 meeting of HWCC shareholders. The publicly traded company would then become a private entity of Omni Cable.

The deal “will maximize OmniCable’s and HWCC’s highly complementary operations,” the release said. The combined company will also continue HWCC’s fastener redistribution business. Following the close of the transaction, each company will retain its own brands and its existing locations. “Our shared central focus on redistribution, logistical expertise, and unyielding pursuit of perfection for our business partners will drive both businesses to enhance the value that we bring to the marketplace,” said Jeff Siegfried, OmniCable founder and vice chairman.

HWCC, founded 45 years ago, is a large industrial distributor of wire and cable and fastener products in the U.S. market. Based in Houston, Texas, it has sales and distribution facilities strategically located throughout the U.S. OmniCable, a subsidiary of Dot Holdings Co., has 14 regional distribution centers to serve and support electrical distributors nationwide.


Brazil’s Gerdau SA announced through a subsidiary, Gerdau Aços Longos, that it has completed the acquisition of long steel producer Siderúrgica Latino Americana (Silat) from the Spanish group Hierros Añón, securing final approval from Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defence (Cade). The purchase of 96.35% of Silat carried a value of approximately $111 million.

A press release said that the Silat acquisition is part of a long-term effort to define the organization’s strategy in the years ahead, reinforcing its position in the steel value chain through investments and acquisitions. The deal is also a strategic expansion opportunity in the Northeast, since the company already has an industrial unit in Ceará, in the city of Maracanaú.

Silat has 233 employees (its own and third parties), and has an annual installed rolling capacity of 600 thousand tons and an expanded plant capable of producing 100 thousand tons each year. Focused on the civil construction sector, the company has since 2012 been in Ceará, where it produces rebar, welded mesh, steel mesh and trusses.

“This acquisition is a project with good potential for Gerdau, which should contribute to the development of a culture of innovation in the company,” said Marcos Faraco, vice president of Gerdau Aços Brasil, Argentina and Uruguay.

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.

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