The Watermill Group Acquires Two Metals Manufacturers
Steven E. Karol
The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private investment firm, has acquired two manufacturers specializing in high-precision metal tubing – Fine Tubes Ltd. in Plymouth, United Kingdom, and Superior Tube Company Inc. in Collegeville, Pa. – from Superior Group Inc., a privately owned industrial holding company. Watermill will help the two specialized metals companies combine forces to create a global leader in high-performance metal tubing.
“Watermill was attracted to the unique, high quality and highly technical capabilities of these companies,” said Steven E. Karol, Founder and Managing Partner at The Watermill Group. “Our vision is to capitalize on the complementary strategic, technical and market strengths at each company to develop a thriving industry leader that can scale its production and grow alongside its customers.”
In bringing Fine Tubes and Superior Tube together, Watermill will pursue a focused strategy of improving manufacturing operations at both companies to increase production capacity and enhance service levels – all the while preserving the world-class product quality on which both firms have built their long-standing customer relationships. Fine Tubes and Superior Tube will also work closely on implementing new operational efficiencies, enhancing manufacturing practices and expanding distribution channels worldwide.
“We’re looking forward to sharing best practices with Superior Tube and capitalizing on the natural synergies between our firms to build a stronger global presence,” said Ronen Day, Managing Director of Fine Tubes, Ltd. “The Watermill Group brings resources to our company that will be key to the next phase of our growth. As Superior Tube and Fine Tubes work more closely together, customers can expect to see significant advancements in our service levels, production capacity and international reach.”
“The chief aim for both our firms is to elevate the service experience for our customers,” said Superior Tube CEO Anthony Jost. “Now that we’re combining the resources of three strong companies – Watermill, Fine Tubes and Superior Tube – we’ll be able to serve customers with a broader selection of high-performance products and improve our responsiveness, which should accelerate growth for both companies.”
Both Fine Tubes and Superior Tube manufacture high-performance metal tubing for blue-chip customers in industries requiring flawless performance under extreme operating conditions. For example, the companies supply high-pressure metal tubes used in critical equipment for the energy industry; lightweight, ultra-strong tubes capable of withstanding temperature extremes for aerospace applications; and precise failsafe tubes for medical devices, including patient implants.
Watermill will provide strong strategic guidance, expert advisors and hands-on support to both Fine Tubes and Superior Tube. Watermill investor and advisor David Robinson has been brought on to serve as Chairman of the Board for the combined company. Robinson most recently served as president of Tyco Fire and Security. He also previously held senior management positions at Motorola.
About The Watermill Group
The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that revitalizes companies to reach their full potential. For more than three decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses at a crossroads and applies a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth. The firm has extensive metals industry expertise as the previous owners of Latrobe Specialty Metals Company, Sheffield Steel Corporation and Vertex Fasteners, among others. Watermill Group’s current portfolio includes C&M Corporation, FutureMark Paper Company, Manistique Papers, Inc. and MultiLayer Coating Technologies, LLC.
About Fine Tubes, Ltd.
Fine Tubes Ltd., located in Plymouth, United Kingdom, is a leading European manufacturer of high-precision metal tubing in stainless steel, nickel, titanium and zirconium alloys. The company has a fully integrated facility for the manufacture, research and development of high-quality metal tubes in seamless, welded and welded-and-drawn forms. Fine Tubes’ tubing solutions are designed for use in environments that endure extreme temperatures, pressure, dynamic stress and corrosion, including critical-tolerance applications in the aerospace, medical and energy industries. Incorporated in 1943, Fine Tubes’ long history of success stems from its proven ability to consistently develop and manufacture complex, high-performance engineered tubing that meets the stringent quality requirements of the world’s most demanding applications.
About Superior Tube Company, Inc.
Superior Tube Company is a leading North American manufacturer of high-precision, small diameter metal tubing used primarily in highly engineered applications in the nuclear, aerospace, medical and durable goods markets. Superior Tube manufactures tubing to tight tolerances and to custom specifications using stainless steel, nickel alloys, high-temperature alloys and reactive metals. The company was founded in 1934 to produce high-quality, small diameter steel tubing for the aircraft industry.
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