United Foundries selling assets to Whemco

Sept. 11, 2008

United Foundries, Canton, Ohio, has agreed to sell all of its assets to Pittsburgh-based manufacturing conglomerate Whemco.

United, almost a century old, makes the huge iron rollers — called rolls in the industry — that are used in steel rolling mills to flatten steel like a rolling pin flattens dough. Some of the rolls weigh up to 20 tons. The company also makes rolls for the nonferrous metals, rubber and plastic industries.

The closely held company also has plants in Youngstown and South Africa.

United chief executive officer Ed Bauer said his understanding is that the company's contract with United Steelworkers Local 3610 will remain in effect and the new owners plan to maintain full employment.

The Canton plant employs 110 hourly workers and 40 salaried personnel, he said. No changes are planned, Bauer said, who has been with the company for 42 years. He plans to stay on "for a while".

Terms of the deal were not announced, but United president Ron Martin said the transaction is slated to close at the end of September.

"The addition of the United assets to Whemco's portfolio would not only enhance our ability to serve our existing customer, but also would allow us to enter new markets," Whemco president and chief executive officer Charles Novelli said in a statement.

Whemco is a collection of manufacturing facilities acquired since 1983 by parent company Park Corp. of Cleveland.

Park is a privately owned company involved in the manufacture of machinery and components for the steel- and energy-related industries; industrial equipment sales for the metalworking and mining industries; production and sale of integrated steel products; oil refining and power-generation services; convention and trade-show services; private aircraft services; development of industrial and commercial real estate; and, private equity and fixed income investments.