December 15, 2006 — Firth Rixson Ltd., a holding company for a diverse set of manufacturing companies around the world, recently sold its Firth Rixson Castings Ltd. operations in England to Australia’s Bradken Operations Pty Ltd. Bradken recently made news as a partner to Castle Harlan Inc. in its purchase of the AmeriCast operations.
The two British foundries are sand-casting operations at Scunthorpe and Darlaston. Australian reports list the purchase at $32 million. Bradken stated its management plan emphasizes product development,and centralized sales and marketing.
Bradken managing director Brian Hodges said the acquisition gives the company geographic reach, and maintains its focus on differentiated consumable products. Hodges also indicated the company will continue to seek acquisitions.
For Firth Rixson, the sale was motivated by the determination to locate an owner that is strategically more suited to the foundry operations. FRL says it will concentrate on its core activities — forgings, extrusions, and seamless rings. CEO David Mortimer stated, "I am delighted to secure a more appropriate owner for the Castings business which has limited strategic fit for Firth Rixson.”
Firth Rixson Ltd. was formed by the 2003 merger of FirthRixson and Forged Metals Inc. It is majority held by The CarlyleGroup, a private equity firm.