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Examples of Compass Automotive Group’s aluminum products (clockwise, from left): a hollow, thin-walled control arm structure; a large, automotive subframe casting; and some examples of steering knuckles for small passenger vehicles.

Aluminum Foundry Purchase Enhances CNC Group

Nov. 10, 2015
Compass Automotive Group bought, renamed, to supply and expand precision machine specialist ... Now, Shipston Aluminum Technologies ...Squeeze casting, VRC/PRC ... Global opportunity

Compass Automotive Group, which has two permanent mold foundries casting aluminum automotive parts, was purchased by private investor Shipston Equity Group LLC recently, and renamed Shipston Aluminum Technologies. The buyer plans to position the foundries as a supplier to its larger holding, Busche Enterprise Division Inc., a CNC machining organization centered in Albion, IN.

The cost of the acquisition was not announced.

“We are fortunate to welcome S.A.T. and its entire management team into Shipston as we continue our growth,” stated Michael Dingman, chairman and majority shareholder of the equity group. “The addition of S.A.T. is complementary to our core precision machining company, Bushe Enterprise Division Inc. With our top-flight management team, equity resources and financial expertise, I expect further growth through other acquisitions and organize development within this business segment of Shipston.”

The foundries in Franklin, IN, and Fruitport, MI, produce high-integrity aluminum parts for automotive chassis and suspensions, as well as other engineered castings for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in automotive, agricultural, construction and industrial markets. The group has design capabilities as well, and produces parts using squeeze casting and vacuum riserless/pressure riserless casting (VRC/PRC) processes.

Busche Enterprise lists over 300 CNC machining and turning machines installed at 10 plants in Albion and Kendallville, IN, and Hartselle, AL. It also has a metrology lab and distribution center in Albion. Its specialty is complex castings and forgings for a similar selection of markets: automotive, agricultural, and durable goods manufacturing.

Nick A. Busche, the president and chief operating officer of Shipston’s Advance Machining and Materials Technologies Group, and president and CEO of Busche Enterprise, will manage the foundry organization. “With S.A.T.’s connections to the Asian and European OEMs, as well as major Tier One suppliers, the opportunity for Busche to offer our CNC machining expertise to the International markets have increased immensely,” he said.

Dingman said it has been “a personal goal to grow Busche to an international organization, and with the partnership of Shipston Equity Holdings last year we started the objective to double our size within the next twelve months.”

He predicted that in that timeframe the Shipston portfolio would “approach revenues of $1.0 billion with both solid earnings and an excellent capital structure, positioning us for dynamic growth with complementary diversification.”