Liberty acquires Johnstown Wire Technologies

Liberty Steel, headed by Sanjeev Gupta and part of the global GFG Alliance, has acquired Johnstown Wire Technologies (JWT).

The acquistion expands the company's US footprint in the downstream products market.

Liberty acquired the company, the largest producer of value-added carbon and alloy, from private investment firm, Aterian Investment Partners, and was financed by group equity along with loans from PNC Business Credit.

From a business perspective, the acquisition gives Liberty the capacity to manufacture a range of high-value carbon and alloy wire products for multiple end markets including the infrastructure, automotive, utility and consumer sectors.

The 250-worker advanced manufacturing facility at Johnstown will complement Liberty’s melting and rolling operations in Georgetown, South Carolina and Peoria, Illinois. Combined with its scrap processing plant in Tampa, Florida, it will firmly embed the business along the full value chain in the US steel market, Liberty claims.

The acquisition is viewed as a major step by Liberty towards its target of quickly becoming a market leader in the American wire rod sector.

The 638,000 square foot Johnstown site has been a high-profile steel manufacturing facility for over 100 years. The company is a top-3 US producer of the types of steel that will be needed to modernise America’s ageing infrastructure – CHQ, electro-galvanised, aluminised and spring wire. JWT currently holds the number one market position in the electro-galvanised and aluminised sectors. 

According to Liberty Steel, the plan is to drive growth at JWT as the US updates its infrastructure and electricity networks, thereby increasing demand for steel products such as support cables and guard rails for bridges and for electrical power lines. 

More than half of JWT’s output is sold into the transportation market. Liberty is aims to capitalise on continued growth in US vehicle production. JWT is the third largest US producer of CHQ wire, which is used in automotive products such as engine block bolts and brake pad rivets.

The acquisition will also add substantially to Liberty’s capability to meet the ‘Made in America’ specifications required for public infrastructure and utility contracts.