Quanex ponders Nichols sale amid low prices

Dec 18, 2013 | 03:11 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Quanex Building Products, William Griffiths, Nichols Aluminum, Russ Brown, fire, Decatur mill, cold mill, paint line outsourcing

CHICAGO — Quanex Building Products Corp. would consider selling its Nichols Aluminum LLC subsidiary for the right price, given low aluminum prices and after a November fire at its Decatur, Ala., plant proved more serious than initially disclosed.

Houston-based Quanex considers itself primarily a supplier of window components and would consider investing the proceeds of any sale of aluminum sheet maker Nichols into its other businesses, Quanex chief executive officer William C. Griffiths said Dec. 17 in an earnings conference call with analysts.

"Look, we have Nichols at the point now where it is operating as well as it has in recent history and we’re clearly still struggling with an aluminum market that is severely depressing any efforts we make there in terms of productivity," Griffiths said after a long pause following a question about how Davenport, Iowa-based Nichols fits strategically into Quanex.....

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