December 8, 2006 — The Timken Co., a steelmaker and bearing manufacturer, has sold its wholly owned subsidiary Timekn Latrobe Steel Co. to a private equity firm, The Watermill Group, for approximately $215 million in cash. Canton, OH-based Timken says the revenue will provide capital for general corporate purposes, including strategic growth initiatives and pension funding.
"We are taking actions across our portfolio to increase the ability to generate consistent profitable growth," stated Timken president and CEO James W. Griffith. "We believe the divestment of Latrobe Steel will create new opportunities for us to invest in key industrial markets that have the potential to generate greater value for our shareholders over time."
Timken Latrobe in Latrobe, PA, manufactures hot- and cold-working tool and die steels, and high-alloy steels used for forging, extrusion dies, and diecasting dies. It is known as a specialty producer of vacuum-remelted steels.
The newly private entity will be known as Latrobe Specialty Steel Co. "As a private company, Latrobe Steel will have the opportunity to grow and, especially, diversify in ways that might not have been possible in the past," stated president Hans J. Sack. He predicted that the current strong demand for steels with aerospace and military applications will continue, and that as a private firm Latrobe will be more reactive and aggressive to opportunities in the market.
The operation in Latrobe is expected to continue. In addition to its manufacturing division, Latrobe distributes more than 300 grades of specialty steels.