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Sifco Buying EU Forger of Turbine Blades

March 19, 2015
C*Blade purchase expands portfolio for energy markets, expands product and revenue options Forging, heat treating, machining capabilities OEM and aftermarket customers Executive turnover
C*Blade produces a range of turbine blades up 1,500 mm long, up to 180 kg initial weight, for numerous manufacturers of compressed gas and thermal and nuclear steam turbines.

Cleveland-based Sifco Industries Inc. has a definitive agreement to acquire C*Blade, an Italian manufacturer of blade structures for power-generation systems. The terms of the purchase, from Riello Investimenti Partners SGR S.p.A. a private equity and venture capital firm, were not revealed.  The value of the sale has been estimated independently at $26..5 million.

Sifco said the transaction would close by mid-year, “following satisfaction of certain conditions and regulatory approvals.”

Like the recent purchases of Stahlhammer Bommern by Columbus McKinnon and Tital by Alcoa, Sifco’s purchase extends the buyers’ current brand portfolio and global market presence.

“C*Blade enjoys a strong reputation for its design expertise and high-quality products,” said Michael S. Lipscomb, chairman and CEO. “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the C*Blade team and plan to leverage their strong capabilities and competitive advantages to become an integral part of Sifco’s growth strategy.”

Sifco is a holding company for three forging enterprises: Sifco Forge, Cleveland, a closed- and open-die forgings producer for aerospace and energy markets; Quality Aluminum Forge, a producer of near-net-shaped, seamless aluminum forgings and finished machined components and assemblies, in Orange and Long Beach CA, and Colorado Springs, CO; and T&W Forge, a hammer forging operation for IGT blades, vanes, and stators, in Alliance, OH.

C*Blade designs and forges blades for compressed gas and thermal or nuclear steam turbines in stainless steel and titanium and nickel-based alloys at a plant in Maniago, Italy. The company has about 150 employees at two plants in in Maniago, Italy, and annual revenues estimated at $30 million.

The main plant is a forging operation that includes a four-axis, hydraulic preforming press, and 12.5-, 35-, and 50-mt hammer forging machines. Heat-treating, machining, and polishing of blades take place in a separate plant.

The blades produced there — up 1,500 mm long, up to 180 kg initial weight — are supplied to numerous turbine manufacturers, including Alstom, ABB, Ansaldo, General Electric, Hitachi, MAN, Siemens, Skoda, and Westinghouse, among others. Turbines are supplied for initial assembly and for turbine maintenance/repair/overhaul programs.

Sifco stated that C*Blade would deliver important strategic benefits to Sifco’s target markets, aerospace and energy, and extend its presence in the steam turbine market. It also will lead to new revenue opportunities by distributing C*Blade’s products in the U.S. market.

Sifco also announced that its chief financial officer, Catherine M. Kramer, would leave the company early next month for a position in the private-equity sector. The change comes less than two months after Lipscomb assumed the chairmanship, having been CEO of Sifco, and three months after James P. Woidke was appointed president and chief operating officer.

The company’s announcement noted Kramer’s departure was unrelated to the C*Blade acquisition.

Corporate controller Thomas R. Kubera will serve as interim CFO, and a search has been initiated for Kramer’s successor.