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Oregon company buys RathGibson

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STANLEY B. MILAM
March 9, 2012
— Longtime Janesville manufacturer RathGibson will remain in Janesville with a forecast for employment gains following its acquisition by Precision Castparts Corp. of Portland, Ore.

Precision Castparts bought the company from Wayzata Investment Partners of Minnesota. Wayzata took the company out of bankruptcy in 2010, a year after RathGibson filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


There will be no negative effects on employment, RathGibson President and CEO Mark G. Essig said.


"As a matter of fact, the new owner has indicated plans to grow the company," Essig said. "I believe there's a good potential for employment growth."


RathGibson now employs about 200 workers at its Janesville location, Essig said. It employs 550 people across the world, including its manufacturing locations in Janesville, New Jersey and Arkansas and its sales offices in China, India and Austria.


The Rath family founded the Janesville company in 1952. Duane Rath took over from his father, who founded the company, and in 1989 started a program that paid the college tuition for children of employees. The tuition program ended in 2009 due to the nationwide economic downturn.


Under Wayzata ownership, RathGibson has grown in sales and employment. The RathGibson corporate offices in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnshire, Ill., closed Dec. 31 and moved to Janesville, bringing corporate functions and employees to the Janesville plant.


"Having a corporate office separated from our plants is a bad situation for our company," Essig said when the relocation was announced. "Our mission is to make the highest quality tubes in the world and present a great value to our customers. Executive offices in Chicago don't help accomplish either goal."


RathGibson makes metal tubing for petrochemical, power generation, oil and gas, food and dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, and general commercial industries.



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