Plans To Change
BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Angus-Palm Industries has been acquired by Worthington Industries, and will be operated as a new business segment of the Columbus, Ohio-based metals manufacturing company, it was announced on Tuesday.
Worthington Industries purchased Angus-Palm for $180 million in cash and proceeds from a $50 million dividend recently received, according to a news release.
Angus-Palm, the market leader in the design and manufacturing of high quality, custom-engineered operator cabs for mobile equipment, has 382 employees at its facility in the Hardin Industrial Park on Baileyton Road.
In Worthington Industries' news release announcing the acquisition, the company said Angus-Palm will operate as a stand-alone business segment, called Engineered Cabs, in the Worthington Industries porfolio of businesses.
"Our team [Worthington] was in Greeneville today [Tuesday] to meet with employees," said Cathy M. Lyttle, vice president of corporate communications for Worthington, in a telephone interview with The Greeneville Sun.
Lyttle said South Dakota-based Angus-Palm management teams will remain in place in Greeneville and at Angus-Palm's other facilities in South Carolina and Iowa.
"We have no immediate plans to change anything on the employment front," Lyttle said.
"They [Angus-Palm] have a great work force," Lyttle said, and our priority is to maximize the performance of each of the locations."
Jay Roths, general manager of the local Angus-Palm plant, did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday afternoon and this morning seeking comment.
Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) had 2011 fiscal year sales of approximately $2.4 billion.
Angus-Palm had $200-plus million in revenue in 2011, according to the news release.
Worthington employs 8,500 people and operates 76 facilities in 12 countries.
FAMILIAR TO FERGUSON
Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership, said he is familiar with Worthington Industries from a time earlier in his career when he was involved in economic development in the company's home state of Ohio.
"Worthington is a first-rate company. I would be surprised if they have anything but good news for Greeneville in the future," Ferguson said.
"I look forward to meeting their people," he added.
Worthington Industries describes itself as North America's premier value-added steel processor and as a leader in manufactured pressure cylinders, such as propane, oxygen and helium tanks, hand-held torches, refrigerant and industrial tanks, camping cylinders, compressed natural gas storage cylinders and scuba tanks; in framing systems and stairs for mid-rise buildings; and in steel pallets and racks.
Through joint ventures, Worthington Industries manufactures suspension grid systems for concealed and lay-in panel ceilings; laser welded blanks; light-gauge steel framing for commercial and residential construction; and current and past model automotive service stampings.
Angus-Palm designs and manufactures high-quality custom-engineered open and enclosed cabs and operator stations for a wide range of heavy mobile equipment in several end-markets, including agriculture, construction, and mining.
Angus-Palm products are a highly technical and regulated component of mobile equipment that helps keep operators protected, comfortable and productive.
Products range from cabs for small utility equipment to the largest earthmovers in the world.
In addition to its South Dakota headquarters, the company operates facilities in Greeneville, in Northwood, Iowa, and in Florence, S.C., with approximately 1,250 non-union employees company-wide.
'GREAT ADDITION,' CEO SAYS
"Angus is a great addition, providing a new manufacturing segment for the company," said John P. McConnell, chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries.
"They [Angus-Palm] are a good fit with our strategic objective to decrease earnings volatility and bring higher value-added manufacturing," McConnell said.
"Additionally, they are a market leader in the custom-engineered cab space, and our companies have similar people-first cultures."
Angus-Palm has "a dedicated workforce and a great management team with a focus on continuous improvement," McConnell added.
"We are also pleased that we share some significant customers, while providing different products and services. The Angus end-markets will increase our exposure in the construction, agriculture and mining industries," McConnell stated.
"We see opportunities to invest in the business by adding domestic capacity, some expanded capabilities, as well as target international expansion to support customer growth," he stated in the news release.
The board of directors of Worthington Industries recently declared a third-quarter dividend of $0.12 per share. The dividend is payable on March 29, 2012, to shareholders of record March 15, 2012.
This marks the 177th consecutive quarter that Worthington has paid a dividend since it offered its stock for sale to the public in 1968, according to the company's website, http://www.worthingtonindustries.com
Worthington Industries was founded in 1955 by John H. McConnell.
A statement on the company's website says that Worthington has grown to become a leading diversified metal-processing company.
"At the core of the company's success is the Worthington Philosophy, based on the Golden Rule, which states, 'People are our most important asset.'
"Today, John P. McConnell leads the company as it continues to innovate the industry, partner with its customers and value its employees," the website stated.