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Atkore acquires Heritage Plastics in move to be PVC conduit leader

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

October 2, 2013

The assets of Heritage Group, a U.S. manufacturer of PVC conduit, fittings, elbows and plumbing pipes, have been acquired by Atkore International Inc., which is looking to expand its product portfolio and market presence.

The aggregate purchase price for the assets was $89.45 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also says Atkore acquired certain fixed assets inventory of Liberty Plastics LLC for $2.5 million.

Atkore is a global manufacturer of galvanized steel tube and pipe, electrical conduit, armored wire and cable, and metal framing systems for the construction, electrical and automotive sectors. The Harvey, Ill.-based company has about 15 brands, including Columbia-MBF, which is a line of steel, PVC and aluminum conduit for the Canadian market, and Power-Strut, which is a line of steel, aluminum and fiberglass struts and accessories used to support electrical infrastructure.

Atkore has big plans for its latest acquisitions, according to President and CEO John Williamson.

"We're committed to expanding our core capabilities in conduit by becoming the leader within the PVC industry — as first evidenced by the recent appointment of Bill Waltz as president of our Plastic Pipe & Conduit business," Williamson said in a statement.

Waltz joined Atkore in July. Prior to that he was chairman and CEO of Strategic Materials Inc., which claims to be North America's largest glass recycling company.

Carrollton, Ohio-based Heritage Group is in the top 40 of 2013 North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders, ranking 37th by Plastics News with PVC pipe sales of $107 million for the electrical/conduit market.

The company, also known as Heritage Plastics, employs nearly 300 people at four locations, in Ohio, Florida, Texas and Utah. All the facilities will continue operating.

"We have grown as a market leader through our entrepreneurial spirit and industry experience, which has been recognized and rewarded," Charles McCort, founder and co-owner of Heritage Plastics, said in a statement. "We are proud of our company's accomplishments to date and look forward to participating in the future growth of the plastic pipe and conduit business at Atkore."

McCort also is listed as the seller representative for the Kentucky-based Liberty Plastics LLC in SEC filings.

In another move to reposition itself, on Sept. 23 Atkore sold its Brazil business that manufactures metal conduit to Panatlântica S.A. for almost $44.9 million, according to an SEC filing. The sale is part of a plan to align its corporate strategy with its product offerings and customer base.

"The divestiture of the Brazil business will allow us to redirect resources to other strategic opportunities that will help Atkore better serve the needs of our customers, support growth initiatives and make us a stronger company overall," Williamson said in a statement.

Atkore is trying to reduce its costs, expand its product lines, enter attractive markets and improve its technological capabilities with targeted capital investments and acquisitions. Third-quarter financial results show net sales to $1.19 billion for the nine months of fiscal year 2013, which ended June 28. That compares to net sales of $2.2 billion for the same period of 2012.

The $29 million decrease was due primarily to lower average selling prices for Atkore's products, according to the financial results.

Atkore has about 3,000 employees and 20 manufacturing and 16 distribution facilities worldwide.