Insights & News

Recent Sale of Manufacturing Business Exemplifies M&A Trends in the South


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 7, 2015) —FourBridges Capital Advisors today announced that Southern Tool Steel, a privately-owned metal distributor headquartered in Chattanooga, has been acquired by Ryerson (NYSE:RYI), a leading processor and distributor of metals based in Chicago, Illinois.

“This transaction exemplifies the M&A trends in the Southeast we have documented over the past year in our news portal, Investment Banking South,” said Frank Williamson, managing partner of FourBridges Capital Advisors. “In addition to interviewing industry experts, in April we also conducted a survey of investors, advisors and business owners to gather their insights on M&A activity in the region.”

The sale of Southern Tool Steel is a testament to the following survey findings:

· Eighty-nine percent see manufacturing as a target industry in the Southeast.
· Fifty-three percent see more competition this year over last year in the region.
· There are many investors from outside the Southeast seeking quality businesses to acquire in the region.

“The Southeast is a hot region for M&A activity, and manufacturing is one of the hottest industries,” Williamson added. “Thanks to an affordable and hardworking workforce, a long history of manufacturing success and the growth of the automotive and aerospace industries, the South – and especially the Appalachian region – is coming into its own as a center of M&A activity.”

At the heart of the Appalachian region lies Chattanooga, where Arnold Erwin founded Southern Tool Steel in 1984. The company is a distributor of metals and plastics to machine shops, tool and die shops and manufacturing facilities, and it serves many Fortune 500 customers across a range of industries, including automotive, aerospace energy and consumer appliances.

“FourBridges Capital Advisors guided me through a complex process and connected me with the right buyer for our shareholders, employees and customers,” said Erwin, CEO of Southern Tool Steel. “I founded Southern Tool Steel by solving problems for companies that used all types of metals. It is fulfilling to know that our customers will benefit from this transaction, and we will be able to offer them more products and services.”

About FourBridges Capital Advisors
FourBridges Capital is a middle market investment bank that champions Southeastern business owners who are planning or executing important transactions, such as buying and selling a business, borrowing, and raising capital. The senior professionals at FourBridges have been corporate-level executives, and they leverage their extensive capital markets experience to achieve superior results for their clients.

About Southern Tool Steel
Founded in 1984, Southern Tool Steel is a distributor of metals and plastics and offers a range of value-added capabilities. The company is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn.
, and serves customers across the country in the automotive, aerospace, energy and consumer appliances industries.

For more information regarding this transaction, please contact Andy Stockett at 423.266.6979 or Chris Rowe at 423.266.4630.


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