Author Topic: Blount Carlton History  (Read 234 times)

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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 11:53:53 am »
Part 5

Company President Turns Postmaster in 1968
Winton Blount resigned from his position as president and chairperson in 1968 to accept a nomination as Postmaster General of the United States in Richard Nixon's new cabinet. During his leave of absence, Austin Paddock, the administrative vice-president of United States Steel Company, was chosen to replace Winton. When Winton Blount left the company, he insisted that it no longer bid for government contracts while he was postmaster. Since over 50 percent of the company's construction contracts were still with the government, this meant the elimination of a huge amount of business at one stroke; at the same time, it also meant that the firm would devote itself to getting all of its contracts from private industry.

To compensate for the elimination of federal contracts, Blount continued its acquisition program. The most important acquisition during this time involved the purchase of J.P. Burroughs & Sons, an agribusiness firm based in Saginaw, Michigan. Buying Burroughs, a public company listed on the American Stock Exchange, allowed privately owned Blount to acquire all of the Burroughs shareholders. This move had been anticipated for years by management and led to Blount's listing on the American Stock Exchange in July 1972. In addition, the acquisition introduced the company, now known as Blount, Inc., to the field of agribusiness, which involved the manufacture of seed cleaners, roller mills, grain dryers, and bucket elevators.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 11:54:47 am »
Part 6

Growing Agribusiness in the 1970s
When Winton Blount returned to the company in 1974 and assumed his former position as president and chairperson, he decided that it was time to determine the future direction of the firm. Taking advice from both Blount management and his brother Houston, Winton decided that the company would not become a conglomerate with operations in a variety of unrelated fields but rather focus solely on the construction and agribusiness industries. Since the company was already well established in the construction industry, Winton immediately turned his attention to expanding its agribusiness operations. In 1976, Blount, Inc. purchased Modern Farm Systems, a manufacturer and distributor of grain bins and metal farm buildings. With facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania, the acquisition enabled Blount, Inc. to quickly set up a comprehensive system to process, handle, and store grain.

In order to develop its agribusiness operations, Blount Inc. purchased York Foundry & Engine Work in 1977. Located in York, Nebraska, the company manufactured and distributed such items as bucket elevators and belt conveyors used to handle feeds, fertilizers, grains, and various other bulk materials. A further acquisition during the same year involved Redex Industries of Elm Creek, Nebraska, another manufacturer of materials handling equipment. The third purchase of that year was Mix-Mill Manufacturing Company of Bluffton, Indiana, a maker of different types of farm equipment used to process feed for cattle, poultry, and hogs. These acquisitions, in combination with increased grain production during the mid-1970s, led to record sales for the company; by 1979, Blount's agribusiness operations made up 45 percent of its operating income.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 11:55:33 am »
Part 7

Changing the Mix in the 1980s
In 1980, Blount reported revenues of just over $554 million; by the end of fiscal 1982 revenues had increased dramatically to $788 million. The cash flow from the construction project in Saudi Arabia was a boon for the company, as was the performance of Washington Steel and the success of its agribusiness expansion into such countries as Mexico, West Germany, China, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Egypt. Revenues for 1984 were a hefty $847 million and earnings a record $24.3 million. Yet at the pinnacle of its success, trouble started to brew. Blount's foreign construction contracts began to decrease, and the farm machine business market suddenly tumbled into a worldwide depression. Anticipating these difficulties, Winton Blount began to implement a diversification strategy. Slowly beginning to sell off all the company's agribusiness holdings, in 1985 he purchased Omark Industries, a chainsaw and materials handling equipment manufacturer for the pulpwood and timber industry and a leading producer of gun care equipment. In addition, Blount also bought W&E Environmental Systems, a Swiss-based resources recovery firm specializing in turning garbage into energy. These acquisitions, and the continued success of its projects in Saudi Arabia, helped push revenues past the $1 billion mark in 1986.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 11:57:01 am »
Part 8

In 1987, although he remained the board's chairperson, Winton Blount decided to decrease the time he spent in managing the day-to-day operations of the company. He promoted his son, Winton Blount III, to the position of vice-chairperson and gave him the primary responsibility of supervising the company's construction business. Having previously been the head of Blount's international construction operations, Winton Blount III seemed a natural choice. Yet from the very beginning of the younger Blount's tenure, the company's performance began to suffer. Washington Steel Corporation was sold off, in spite of its turning a profit during one of the most difficult periods in the steel industry. A $100 million, 80 megawatts cogeneration project located in Pennsylvania landed in court following a dispute between Blount and Schuykill Energy Resources. Problems with the company's handling of a $150 million office complex for AT&T in Chicago also gave rise to litigation. Other construction projects in which the company lost control or entered into contract terms that were unfavorable led to declining revenues and profitability. The younger Blount was asked to vacate his position as vice-chairperson, and his father returned to turn the company around. By the end of fiscal 1990, however, revenues had dropped from over $1 billion to $683 million; revenues for the construction operations alone declined from over $600 million to $348 million.

The early 1990s were a period of disruption and realignment for the company. William R. Van Sant, president and chief executive officer of Blount from December 1990 to October 1992, suddenly resigned, creating a large gap in management. Van Sant had helped the company shift its focus to a more diversified mixture of manufacturing equipment and construction operations. John M. Panettiere, a management expert with considerable experience in the auto industry, was appointed president and chief operating officer, and he immediately began to help Winton Blount iron out the company's problems.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 11:57:49 am »
Part 9

One of their first decisions was to sell the resource recovery operation and not seek any additional contracts in the waste-to-energy business. Their second decision involved a stronger commitment to manufacturing, including outdoor products, such as saw chains and specialty riding mowers; industrial and power equipment, such as industrial tractors and equipment for timber harvesting and loading; and sporting equipment, such as small arms ammunition, gun scopes, and gun care equipment. The company's overall realignment worked. In 1993, revenues increased to over $691 million from a 1992 figure of $637 million.

Exiting Construction in 1994
In early 1994, management decided to sell almost all of its construction business to Montgomery's Caddell Construction Company, headed by one of Blount's former employees. This decision opened the way for the company to eliminate the substantial operating losses its construction business experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although revenues dropped sharply as a result of this move, Blount was able to focus entirely on its three remaining divisions of outdoor products, sports equipment, and industrial equipment. Finally rid of the lingering effects of a worldwide slowdown in the construction industry, Blount's prospects for the future appeared much brighter.

Blount announced agreements to acquire Simmons Outdoor in late 1995, and Frederick Manufacturing and Orbex in late 1996. Frederick was a Kansas City maker of lawn mower accessories. Orbex made a variety of outdoor products and Simmons, sporting optics. These acquisitions were soon consolidated into the new Sporting Equipment Group.

Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2017, 11:58:34 am »
Part 10

Blount ended 1996 with 4,400 employees and earnings of $55.2 million on revenues of $649.3 million. Blount's Sporting Equipment Group accounted for $147.1 million of sales in 1996, producing operating income of $19.8 million. Group sales were doubled by the $112 million purchase of Federal Cartridge Company from St. Paul, Minnesota-based Pentair, Inc. in November 1997. Blount picked up the ammo manufacturer as part of a strategy to round out its sporting equipment brand offerings, which then included Simmons, RCBS, CCI, Speer, Ram-Line, Weaver, and Orbex. Pentair was unloading the munitions business to gain money for acquisitions related to its core businesses: electrical and electronic enclosures, professional tools and equipment, and water products. Operating profit at Federal Cartridge had fallen from $20 million to less than $2 million in 1995--the results of a stockpiling effort the year before among gun users fearful of new gun control regulations. Federal Cartridge employed 900 workers and had sales of $130 million in 1995.

Blount's long-term prospects prompted the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bass group to acquire a 5.3 percent stake in the company in the summer of 1996. This was soon raised to 8.2 percent. In April 1999, the company agreed to be acquired by a unit of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. for $1.16 billion. Blount issued $825 million in debt, including $325 million in junk bonds, to finance the leveraged buyout. Lehman and Blount's existing management owned 90 percent of shares after the transaction, with existing shareholders holding the rest. The Blount family owned 63 percent of shares before the deal. Blount executives had discussed selling the company to a number of bidders, but few other than Lehman were interested acquiring all of Blount's operations.

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Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2017, 11:59:23 am »
Part 11

There was speculation that Lehman, as a financial buyer, would divide Blount's operations, and this was soon realized. In December 2001, Minneapolis-based aerospace and defense company Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) bought Blount's Sporting Equipment Group for $235 million in stock. The "top prize" of the deal was Federal Cartridge. This operation of 1,700 employees made small-caliber ammunition and was a leader in the law enforcement market. ATK already dominated the U.S. military munitions market. Also included in the sale were Estate Cartridge, Inc., a maker of sporting shotgun shells acquired in October 2000, Simmons Outdoor Corporation, and other assets of the Sporting Equipment Division.

Blount acquired Fabtek Inc., a $21 million-a-year timber harvesting equipment business, in September 2000, making it part of the Industrial and Power Equipment Group. Blount bought Windsor Forestry Tools, Inc. from Snap-On Incorporated in October 2000. Windsor made cutting chain and guide bars for chain saws and timber harvesting equipment.

Harold E. Layman, president and COO since 2000, succeeded John M. Panettiere as CEO in April 2001. The company had a net loss of $43.6 million on sales of $469 million for the year.
Principal Subsidiaries: Blount, Inc.; Blount Holdings, Ltd. (Canada); Dixon Industries, Inc.; Gear Products, Inc.; Frederick Manufacturing Corporation.
Principal Operating Units: Outdoor Products Group; Industrial & Power Equipment Group.
Principal Competitors: Caterpillar Inc.; Deere & Company; MTD Products Inc.

(http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/blount-international-inc-history/)

In 2016, Blount was acquired by American Securities and P2 Capital Partners.
(http://www.blount.com/)
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2017, 01:35:48 pm »
Wow that's alot of good info Philbert, I hope you were able to copy and paste all that haha.

Interesting about Snap-On  owning Windsor, good quality tool company if not the best. Here's a pic of my first Snap On chest I bought in the early 1970's before I went logging. Still holds alot of my tools today. Alot better quality then my MasterCraft chest I got in my garage. The drawers in the Snap On open all the way out mot hiding any tools in the back of the drawer. Those almost 50 year old drawer tracks still work perfect.

I'm still in the dark about how Sandvik was able to sue Windsor on that patent infringement. And when they sold off Windsor.
If you could dig that info up I'd gladly appreciate it. Thanks.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Philbert

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2017, 02:00:03 pm »
I'm still in the dark about how Sandvik was able to sue Windsor on that patent infringement. And when they sold off Windsor.
I have a bunch of old Sandvik chain, and some other loops marked 'SW', which I was told meant Sandvik-Windsor.  Don't know much about their history.  Also not sure what happened to Sabre saw chain.  On another forum, someone said that it was sold to Homelite at one point, so the brand name and the production facilities may have gone in different directions.

Here are a few excerpts from the Sandvik 1998 annual report, where they still list Sandvik Windsor as an asset, although, the history I quoted above says that Blount purchased Windsor Forestry Products from Snap-On in 2000, so the Windsor name might have been fragmented from some other sales, divestitures, etc.?:

"The Sandvik Group, with headquarters in Sandviken, is one of Sweden’s largest export companies, with world-wide business activities conducted through 300 companies and representation in 130 countries. The Group has 37,500 employees and annual sales of more than SEK 40 billion.
Since it was founded in 1862, Sandvik has developed from a provincial Swedish steelworks into an international, engineering enterprise, with world-leading positions in selected niches."

"Sandvik Saws & Tools Manufactures hand tools for professional users. Handsaws, metal saw blades, wrenches, spanners, pliers, files, pruning tools as well as guide bars and saw chains for logging machines and chain saws."

(https://www.home.sandvik/globalassets/4.-investors/reports/annual-reports/annual-report-1998.pdf)

Philbert
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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Blount Carlton History
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2017, 05:34:23 pm »
Holy crap lit a fire under somebody with some info  :o.  Thanks for sharing all of this Phil.    8)
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