JW Aluminum finds a strategy that delivers

Feb 29, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Bill Beck

Tags  JW Aluminum, Lee McCarter, Wellspring Capital, Bill Beck

JW Aluminum Co. set out on a path of culture change in 2010, leading it away from a manufacturing-centric approach to one that focuses on integration and employee participation.

“We set about to change the culture, the marketing, the product and the customer base,” chief executive officer Lee McCarter said, noting that in 2007-08 JW Aluminum was comprised of four separate companies under one corporate umbrella. “Management was more interested in buying companies than integrating them into a seamless whole.”

JW Aluminum offers a range of rolled aluminum products, including sheet, fin stock, container material, cable wrap and foils in a variety of thicknesses. The company is backed by owner Wellspring Capital Management LLC, a middle-market private equity company that manages more than $3 billion of private equity capital.

Wellspring Capital acquired the aluminum subsidiary of Walter Industries Inc., now JW Aluminum, in late 2003 for $125 million. McCarter joined the company in April 2009 following a successful career as chief financial officer at a number of privately held companies, including FleetPride Inc., Woodlands, Texas, a leading supplier of heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, as well as Propex Inc., a producer of technical textile solutions, and SI Corp., both in Chattanooga, Tenn.

McCarter and JW Aluminum’s board began assembling a senior management team. Ron Marchbanks, who had joined the company in August 2008, was named president and chief operating officer in December 2009. Marchbanks was a 30-year veteran of the aluminum industry, having worked in a variety of operating positions for such industry leaders as Noranda Aluminum Inc., Alumax Aluminum Corp., Alcan Inc., Wabash Alloys LLC, Advanced Aluminum LLC and OmniSource Corp./Superior Aluminum Alloys LLC.....

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