Worthington Industries Inc.s Pressure Cylinders business
is set to acquire a 75-percent stake in Arıtaş
Basınçlı Kaplar Sanayi AŞ (Aritas), an
Istanbul-based company that builds liquefied natural gas (LNG)
tanks, cryogenic vessels and systems.
The deal is contingent
on Turkish government approval, which is expected later this
month, Columbus, Ohio-based Worthington said.
products account for a majority of its sales, which totaled $40
million last year. For nearly a decade, it has been building
and servicing the virtual LNG pipeline in Turkey via LNG
transport trailers, LNG ISO containers, LNG bulk tanks and LNG
satellite stations for regasification.
Aritas also is
involved in LNG fueling systems, including those for natural
gas-powered ships. Its product portfolio ranges from tanks
holding up to 132,000 gallons and bulk tanks to transport
trailers and micro-bulk storage.
"We believe Aritas
will dramatically increase our ability to grow our LNG and
cryogenics businesses quickly and globally," Worthington
chairman and chief executive officer John McConnell said in a
experience and LNG product lineup fit our strategy to expand
our footprint in energy products, as well as products for
alternative fuels to power vehicles," Pressure Cylinders
president Andrew Billman said. "Aritas technology is
easily adaptable to markets it is currently not servicing,
including the Americas and Western Europe. Thoughtful
integration with our global sales force will help us drive
strong commercial synergies."
Aritas operates a
270,000-square-foot plant in Istanbul employing 300 people and
plans to build a second facility 125 miles away in the port
city of Bandirma, Turkey, which ultimately will double or
triple its existing capacity, according to Worthington.
"The fragmented and
regional nature of global LNG/cryogenic distribution and
storage presents an opportunity for (Worthington) to be a
future global consolidator," said Philip Gibbs, equities
analyst at Cleveland-based KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. "Over
the long term, the venture could be much more accretive (to
earnings) as growth initiatives bear fruit."