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Pennsylvania Steel eyes NY mart with MCI acquisition

Keywords: Tags  Pennsylvania Steel, acquisitions, Winchester Metals, Schwartz Steel Service, Metal Connections, Barry Walsh, carbon bar, steel tubing aluminum plate

CHICAGO — Pennsylvania Steel Co. Inc. has purchased Metal Connections Inc. (MCI), its third acquisition in 14 months, in its efforts to broaden the company’s geographic and product line reach.

The Bensalem, Pa.-based processor and distributor of cold-finished steel bar, tool steel and other products has acquired Hauppauge, N.Y.-based MCI, which saw-cuts and distributes aluminum plate for customers in the New York City and Long Island markets.

“Long Island is a difficult market to get product into unless you’re located there. Metal Connections fits our model nicely,” Pennsylvania Steel president and chief operating officer Barry R. Walsh told AMM. “They give us a presence, which we will expand and enlarge.” 

MCI, after it moves to a larger location nearby, will distribute all of Pennsylvania Steel’s products in addition to aluminum. “We will now have the ability to grow inventory in a growing market,” Walsh said.

He also expects to install carbon steel bar sawing equipment in addition to MCI’s “arsenal of plate and sheet processing equipment.”

Pennsylvania Steel purchased Winchester Metals Inc.’s Powhatan, Va., operations in February, and bought Schwartz Steel Service Inc., Gastonia, N.C., in September 2011 (, Feb. 14).

“Winchester Metals is doing very well,” Walsh said. “We found a wonderful building in Ashland, Va., so the company is now in its permanent home and has increased its inventory. We are putting more (processing) equipment there as well.”

Walsh described the purchase of Winchester Metals as “a logical expansion of our market footprint,” adding that with the Virginia operation, “we cover all of New England through the Mid-Atlantic.”

Winchester Metals sells steel structurals, sheet and plate to job shops, screw machine manufacturers and other industrial customers; Pennsylvania Steel added steel bars and tubing and aluminum plate to its inventory.

“The bigger acquisition was Schwartz, and that integration has gone well,” Walsh said Friday. “It has a good reputation and a sizable position in the market. Our ability to grow the products we sell there has been a pleasant surprise.

“We expect blue sky to be the limit for revenue improvement at both Winchester and Schwartz,” he said, adding that each represented “totally new markets” for Pennsylvania Steel.

Metal Connections is more of a hybrid, as Pennsylvania Steel already sells aluminum plate into the New York market, but it will now be “doing more with local product and presence,” Walsh said.

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