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RTI sells Pierce-Spafford unit for $12.5M

Keywords: Tags  RTI International, Titanaium Industries, titanium, Dawne Hickton, Brett Paddock, Pierce-Spafford, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — RTI International Metals Inc. has sold Pierce-Spafford Metals Co. Inc. to Titanium Industries Inc. for $12.5 million in cash in a deal that underscores long-term strategies at both companies.

The sale will sharpen RTI’s "strategic focus" on titanium mill products and "downstream engineered products and services," Dawne S. Hickton, vice chairwoman, president and chief executive officer of the producer, fabricator and distributor, said in an April 30 statement. Last year, in the company’s biggest move downstream to date, RTI purchased machining and engineering specialist Remmele Engineering Inc., New Brighton, Minn. (, Feb. 15, 2012).

For Titanium Industries, the acquisition appears to support a move initiated nearly seven years ago to diversify the privately held company, which is already one of the largest independent U.S. titanium distributors, into complementary nickel-based and other high-performance metals and alloys.

The buy is a "great fit," Brett S. Paddock, president and chief executive officer of Rockaway, N.J.-based Titanium Industries, told AMM, noting that both companies are family-owned and have been operating for about 40 years.

Pierce-Spafford management, including general manager John Spafford, will remain with the Garden Grove, Calif.-based distributor. The company specializes in a wide range of high-performance products outside of titanium, including alloy and stainless steel and nickel alloys, that it sells to the aerospace, oil and gas, and power generation industries. Some of its most prominent products are 15-5, 13-8 and 17-4 stainless steels.

In the future, Pierce-Stafford might also handle titanium, Paddock said.

The company will "add a strategic line of distribution alloys and service capabilities" to Titanium Industries, he said.

Titanium Industries began to diversify outside titanium in 2006 with the addition of nickel-based alloys, such as 718 bar, in what Paddock then described as a "logical decision for the company" (, June 9, 2006). Today, non-titanium products account for about 40 percent of its sales. Last year, the company added alloy 455 stainless bar to its line of medical products, which already included both alloy and commercially pure titanium, and cobalt-chromium-molybdenum implant metals.

Pittsburgh-based RTI said its flat-rolled titanium distribution business isn’t affected by the sale, although it will relocate from Pierce-Spafford’s site in Garden Grove to an "alternative" location in the Los Angeles area.

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