Esmark sells technology subsidiary

SEWICKLEY, Pa. – Esmark Inc. has sold its technology subsidiary, Esmark Technologies, to Stahlschmidt Inc. and the Bouchard Group LLC.

Stahlschmidt has a 60 percent stake in the venture, which will retain the “Esmark Technologies” name. The company will be based in Cleveland, where Stahlschmidt has been headquartered since 1995 and where Sewickley-based Esmark also has significant business interests, they said.

In announcing the transaction, Esmark Chairman and CEO Jim Bouchard said they expect the alliance to “provide a new business platform to further increase profitability through ancillary activities,” a list they said potentially includes “a diversified pipe and aggregates depot and ancillary services to support the Marcellus field demand; a possible tin printing venture and a coal transfer/blending station and/or shale gas co-generation facility on or immediately adjacent to existing Esmark facilities.”

Originally formed to provide technical and management services and commercial support across the steel, manufacturing and industrial sectors, Bouchard said the focus at Esmark Technologies will be on project development, resource recovery, energy efficiency solutions, structured trade finance and tailored supply chain management solutions in the North American industrial metals, energy and manufacturing sectors.

He said Stahlschmidt Chairman and CEO Uwe Schmidt and President and COO Kai-Roger Schmidt were original shareholders and co-founded the original Esmark venture, and are currently investors in his company.

“The market needs the types of industrial solutions Esmark Technologies will offer,” Bouchard said in a release announcing the transaction. “Esmark will continue to focus on its core businesses, especially given our recent acquisition of the Ohio Cold Rolling Co. and Ohio Coatings Co. However, I personally believe in the growth potential of our business with complimentary support from Esmark Technologies, and it is for this reason Bouchard Group is investing alongside Stahlschmidt in the new ventures of Esmark Technologies.”

Uwe Schmidt said the “extraordinary results and returns” Bouchard had generated for shareholders like Stahlschmidt over the years “are the reason why we have recently significantly increased ours stake in Esmark.”

Bouchard, meanwhile, said his counterpart “has served as CEO of some of the largest independent international steel trading franchises, developed billion dollar industrial projects and helped engineer unique supply chain management and structured finance solutions for the metals, power and related industries.”

Both companies are privately held.