Intermet Decentralizes Operations, Management

May 18, 2006
Greater autonomy for metalcasting units, in finance, strategy, customer relations

May 18, 2006 -- Intermet Corp. has instituted a corporate reorganization it expects will improve "overall manufacturing efficiency and reduce costs." And, Intermet reports it arranged a replacement, $75-million revolving credit facility to help support the reorganization plan.

Based in Troy, MI, Intermet supplies castings for powertrain, drivetrain, chassis/structural, and interior/electronics components to automotive, commercial vehicle, and industrial markets. It emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, but in March chairman and CEO Gary Ruff was replaced by Gill West as interim CEO, and Jeff Mihalic as interim president. Both West and Mihalic are partners with Q Investments, a Fort Worth, TX-based private equity group with an ownership stake in Intermet.

The reorganization scales down the corporate staff and assigns more financial and operational control to five manufacturing groups, led by group presidents:
- The Domestic Ferrous Group is led by Steve Lake and includes Archer Creek Foundry, Lynchburg, VA; Columbus Foundry, Columbus, GA; Hibbing Foundry, Hibbing, MN; and New River Foundry, Radford, VA.
- The Die Casting Group, under Todd Heavin, includes the Jackson Die Casting Plant, Jackson, Tenn.; Minneapolis Plant, New Hope, MN; and the Pulaski Plant, Pulaski, TN.
- The Monroe City Group, under Eric Showalter's management, includes the Monroe City Aluminum and Zinc plants, Monroe City, MO, and the Palmyra Magnesium Plant, Palmyra, MO.
- The PCPC (Pressure Counter Pressure Casting) Group, led by Don Hays, includes the Stevensville PCPC Plant, Stevensville, MI; and Jackson PCPC Plant, Jackson, TN.
- The Europe Group, with Laurence Vine-Chatterton continuing as president, includes the Neunkirchen Foundry in Neunkirchen, Germany; the Porto Foundry in Porto, Portugal; and the Ueckermunde Foundry in Ueckermunde, Germany.

West, the interim CEO, stated: "In this especially competitive industry environment, the company must be able to operate more efficiently while still maintaining high levels of customer service and product quality. After a thorough review of our business, we have developed a streamlined organizational structure that will enable Intermet to better focus on profitability and exercise the flexibility necessary in a rapidly changing automotive industry."

In the new organization, customer account contacts will be "embedded" with the respective business groups, as will most engineering and design activities. "We are working closely with our customers to ensure a seamless transition," interim president Jeff Mihalic stated. "We appreciate the support demonstrated by our customers throughout this transformation."