Metaldyne Performance Group Inc. issued a shutdown notice for Brillion Iron Works, the Wisconsin foundry it purchased for $14 million less than two weeks ago. "A severe downturn in the heavy truck, mining, agriculture and industrial markets is forcing the foundry industry to consolidate production into fewer facilities," stated MPG president and COO Doug Grimm. "This was a difficult decision that impacts Brillion's dedicated and skilled workforce. Where feasible, we hope to relocate as many employees as possible to other MPG locations."
Brillion’s products are gray iron and ductile iron castings, ranging from thin-walled to complex heavy-sectioned parts for manufacturers of light and commercial vehicle, agricultural, construction and mining equipment, and other industrial markets.
At the time of that purchase, MPG issued a statement that noted the Brillion operation would complement MPG's casting business and capacity. "MPG has completed 10 acquisitions over the past decade and we have successfully integrated all of them," stated George Thanopoulos, CEO. "Our customers are very supportive of this bolt-on transaction given our successful history of acquisitions and the current depressed state of the industrial and heavy truck markets."
Now, the decision has been made to cease molding and melting operations during the fourth quarter of this year. Ongoing Brillion work orders will be transferred to MPG foundries in Browntown, WI and Reedsburg, WI; St. Cloud, MN; Iron Mountain, MI; and New Castle, IN.
Brillion Iron Works has 293 hourly and 49 salaried employees. In its announcement, MPG stated that transfers to positions at other locations would be offered to Brillion employees, “as opportunities exist.”
Accuride Corp. sold Brillion to MPG on September 2, part of a two-step process in which it also accepted a $424-million buyout from Crestview Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.
MPG was formed in 2014 by a private-equity group, American Securities LLC, which established a single holding company for two forging organizations (Metaldyne, HHI) and a large automotive foundry group (Grede Holdings.) Each of those entities also included a number of legacy brands. Its products are gray, ductile and austempered ductile iron castings, forgings, and finish machined parts for automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial markets.
In August, MPG consolidated all its brands under a single label, which are organized according to process and market focus (e.g., MPG Casting Technologies, MPG Forming Technologies, etc.)