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Zekelman Industries Adds Western Tube

Dec. 16, 2016
Rucker confirmed that the two brands’ agency representation will continue without changes under the Zekelman umbrella.

Wheatland Tube & Conduit parent company Zekelman Industries, Chicago, (formerly JMC Steel Group) has moved to add Western Tube & Conduit to its lineup of metal conduit and fencing businesses in a deal announced last week. Zekelman has entered into a definitive agreement with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Tokyo, Japan, and other minority shareholders of Western Tube & Conduit for Wheatland Tube to purchase the Long Beach, CA-based conduit and steel tube manufacturer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Barry Zekelman, executive chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries, said in a release that the company will continue to offer customers products under both the Wheatland and Western brands.

“Western Tube and Wheatland Tube offer complementary products and services. Each company will continue to operate in the marketplace as it does today,” said Jim Hays, president of electrical, fence and mechanical for Zekelman Industries.

Jelani Rucker, VP of marketing and business development for Zekelman, told EM the move will boost Zekelman in markets of the western U.S.

“The advantage for us is to expand Zekelman Industries’ reach into the western U.S.,” he said, adding that Wheatland has been serving those markets but in a limited capacity due to geographic proximity.

Rucker confirmed that the two brands’ agency representation will continue without changes under the Zekelman umbrella.

Besides Wheatland Tube, Zekelman’s lineup of brands includes Atlas Tube, Picoma, Energex Tube, Sharon Tube and Z Modular. The company changed its name from JMC Steel Group in June as a way to emphasize its family ownership.

Adding Western Tube brings significant capacity in producing both black and galvanized steel tubing for the western U.S. market. Western Tube’s operations also include manufacturing of fence products and mechanical tubing, markets where Wheatland Tube is also active.

Zekelman Industries operates 15 manufacturing plants producing about 2.5 million tons of pipe and tube annually. The company recently completed an overhaul of Wheatland Tube’s main Council Ave. production facility in Wheatland, PA, north of Pittsburgh. The $35 million multi-phase two year project, dubbed Project Phoenix, sought to eliminate bottlenecks in the production and shipping areas of the plant and install new inline finishing equipment. The facility is now able to finish, test and paint material at a pace of 900 feet per minute, according to a company blog post by Tim Feeney, general manager of operations.

“This project took a lot of coordination to remove obsolete equipment, install new equipment, train and commission all while maintaining high levels of safety and meeting our customers’ production demands,” he said.