Precision Castparts Buys RathGibson

March 8, 2012
Aerospace investment caster now emphasizing oil-and-gas market

Precision Castparts Corp. — a holding company for an increasingly diverse portfolio of manufacturers, from investment casting to forging — has acquired RathGibson LLC for an undisclosed cash price. RathGibson produces precision thin-wall, nickel-alloy and stainless steel welded and seamless tubing for oil-and-gas, chemical/petrochemical processing, and power generation industries. Other commercial markets, like food and dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, and general commercial, are also addressed.

The acquisition is awaiting regulatory approvals. RathGibson has been owned by investors that include Wayzata Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in manufacturing “turnarounds.”

CEO Mark G. Essig said the acquisition “represents a great day” for RathGibson. “Operating as part of PCC will allow RathGibson to accelerate its growth plans and offer a more complete product capability to the market,” he stated.

RathGibson has over 500 employees at three plants in Janesville, WI, North Branch, NJ, and Clarksville, AR, manufacturing welded and seamless tubing in various lengths, wall thicknesses, and diameters.

PCP chairman and CEO Mark Donegan said, “RathGibson continues to broaden our footprint in the oil-and-gas market and presents solid opportunities in other markets as well.

"RathGibson's tubing nicely complements our current products, which serve the high-end requirements of the oil-and-gas market with corrosion-resistant alloys. As the industry and others move toward more complex and difficult operations, our combined product lines will offer a fuller, more robust capability."

Portland, OR-based Precison Castparts manufactures investment castings (PCC Structurals, PCC Airfoils) for aerospace structures and airfoils; and forgings (Wyman Gordon, Hackney Ladish, Special Metals) for aerospace and industrial gas turbines. It also produces fasteners for airframes and aerospace engines.

Last year, PCC’s acquisitions emphasized its aerospace specialization: it paid $900 million for PCCPrimus International, a manufacturer of machined and fabricated aerospace components; and it acquired Unison Engine Components from GE Aircraft for an undisclosed price. Unison produces flash-welded and cold-rolled rings for jet engines and gas turbines.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)