Monday, July 25, 2011

News: Hydra Mining Tools International acquired by ESCO


One of Rotherham's most profitable businesses, Hydra Mining Tools International, has been acquired by the American ESCO Corporation for an undisclosed sum.

Hydra Mining Tools and its predecessor, Hall & Pickles Tool Company, have been associated with mining activities since the earliest days of mechanisation. Following the collapse of the British coal industry, the company has refocused on supplying its specialist cutting tools to China.

Coal miners in China use Hydra Mining Tools International's cutting head to extract coal, without excessive dust and danger of explosion.

ESCO Corporation, based in Portland, Oregon, is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of highly engineered wear parts and replacement products used in mining, infrastructure development, power generation, aerospace and industrial applications. They operate across the world.

ESCO stated that the acquisition of Hydra Mining Tools supports their global expansion and, at the same time, provides a new range of products for underground mining markets.

Cal Collins, president and CEO of ESCO, said: "We are excited about ESCO's acquisition of Hydra Mining Tools and the synergies and global opportunities that it will bring to ESCO.

"This acquisition opens the door for ESCO into the fast growing Chinese underground coal mining markets and positions ESCO for continued expansion into the established underground coal market in the U.S. and Australia. We will leverage the ESCO brand and our expertise in mining wear parts and solutions to better service our customers."

Hydra Mining Tools International employs 139 people and has their headquarters at Kimberworth, Rotherham, where carbide, mineral cutting tools, toolholders, cutting chains, conveyor rollers and related components are produced.

The Doncaster factory specialises in fabrication work, producing shearer drums, cutting heads and discs, jibs for cutting chains, and conveyor structure. In addition a wide range of general machining activities, plate rolling, profile cutting and press work facilities are contained within this site.

Sales were £11.8m in 2010 and the firm saw exports climb to £8.7m, up 65% a year compared to 2008. This was boosted by its Chinese and American subsidiaries and they now win 26.5% of sales from China, compared with 2% in 2008.

The sale provides an exit for Paul Morton, the non-executive director of Hydra Mining Tools International, but the executive directors of the business Gordon McShannon, John Warren and John McShannon, will continue to work with ESCO to ensure a seamless transition to the new owner.

The corporate team at law firm Cobbetts advised on the sale and Endeavour Partnership provided legal advice to the buyer.

David Armitage, corporate partner at Cobbetts, said: "The financial support and access to ESCO's global network will enable Hydra Mining Tools International to take its operations to the next level and expand the distribution of its quality mining products.

"Hydra's expertise in underground mining cuttings systems will complement ESCO's leading market position in consumables and equipment for surface mining."

Hydra Mining Tools International



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