NEW YORK Alton
Steel Inc. is weighing interest from prospective buyers,
company president Charles Linnemeyer told AMM, having
received multiple inquiries from investors looking to acquire
The company, which
purchased bankrupt Laclede Steel Co. and reopened
Lacledes mill in Alton, Ill., in 2003, is considering a
potential sale after being approached by several interested
parties late last year. Linnemeyer said it is outside interest
in the company that is spurring any potential sale and not
owner John Simmons, who holds 100 percent of Alton Steel.
"We were approached.
Its not like Mr. Simmons or the board said,
Lets sell the place," Linnemeyer said. "The
market actually approached the ownership of this company late
last year, and (interest has) grown from there."
president of United Steelworkers union Local 3643, told
AMM he understood that Alton Steel had reached out to
a firm to value the company after receiving interest from
"I do know that there
have been people who have shown interest in the company over
the years," Wooden said. "From my understanding, the company
approached a firm in New York to put a value on the company,
and there have been five bids in the last couple of months as a
result of that."
Neither Linnemeyer nor
Wooden would disclose specific parties interested in purchasing
Alton Steel, but Wooden said the company had received interest
from five prospective buyers, including two steel
companiesone foreign and one domesticand three
investment groups. Wooden said the first group to visit Alton
Steel was expected to tour the mill July 25.
Alton Steel recently
ratified a two-year contract extension with USW Local 3643 (
amm.com, May 10). While Linnemeyer and Wooden
agreed that both sides maintain a good working relationship,
Wooden said that the union was "apprehensive" about a sale and
what it would mean for the labor agreement.
"All we can do is wait
and see what happens," Wooden said. "The employees are always
apprehensive when something like this transpires. Weve
had a good working relationship (with Alton), so when you get
into another entity owning the steel mill, its an
Alton Steel produces
about 300,000 tons of special bar quality and merchant quality
steel bar products annually.
Linnemeyer said that
Alton Steels successful venture into the automotive
industry had spurred buyer interest in the company. "A lot of
(interest) is due to what we sell," he said. "The market knows
we do a fair amount of business, indirectly, with the
automotive industry, (and) companies have seen the growth
thats going on in the auto industry."