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Two firms acquire Esmark Technologies

Keywords: Tags  Esmark Technologies, James Bouchard, shale, Stahlschmidt, Bouchard Group, Uwe Schmidt, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Stahlschmidt Inc. and Bouchard Group LLC have jointly acquired Esmark Inc.’s Esmark Technologies for an undisclosed sum.

The sale and licensing venture between the two parties will be operated as a vertically integrated industrial services company and continue to be branded under Esmark Technologies.

Cleveland, Ohio-based Stahlschmidt, a privately held management services, investment and asset management company, will own 60 percent of the venture and manage its day-to-day operations, Esmark chairman and chief executive officer James P. Bouchard told AMM.

Under the new business platform, Esmark Technologies will be better equipped to explore new opportunities in manufacturing as well as steel, especially in relation to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays, Bouchard said.

Prior to the acquisition, Pittsburgh-based Esmark "didn’t have the management" to evaluate new ventures, Bouchard said. "If it’s not in the steel business ... but it’s a good investment and it makes sense, then Esmark Technologies will (now) take a look at it." He noted that "people probably run three to four solid deals by us per month."

An immediate area of focus will be in capitalizing on the shale gas phenomenon in the Northeast, according to Uwe T. Schmidt, Stahlschmidt’s chairman and chief executive officer.

"We find ourselves in the heart of the Marcellus shale, and there’s lots of development there and more coming down the pipeline," he told AMM. "We have the opportunity to put in place a depot and transfer station that the fracking industry needs. That’s something we are going to look at out of the box to utilize those resources we have."

Earlier this month, Chicago Heights, Ill.-based Esmark Steel Group LLC postponed the restart of wholly owned subsidiary Ohio Cold Rolling Co., citing economic uncertainty and volatility (, Jan. 14). While a new restart date has yet to be set, the Yorkville facility—which supplies substrate to Ohio Coatings Co., a 50-50 joint venture with Seoul, South Korea-based TCC Steel Co.likely will be restarted sometime in the next year in time for the next round of annual contracts in the tinplate market, Bouchard said.

Editor's note: This story was updated Jan. 23, 2012. Due to a reporting error, it originally misstated the ownership of Ohio Cold Rolling Co.

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