By Andrew Macklin
Superior speaks on recent purchase of two Canadian manufacturers
By Andrew Macklin
Across six weeks spanning from early March to the middle of April 2015, Superior Industries made headlines in the Canadian aggregates industry with the purchase of two Canadian manufacturers.
In early March, they announced an agreement to purchase Alberta’s Clemro Western, and followed that up in April by coming to terms on the acquisition of MFE Manufacturing of Miramichi, N.B.
Rock to Road magazine caught up with Jarrod Felton, vice-president of sales, marketing and engineering at Superior, to ask about Superior’s new investments in the Canadian market.
Prior to the two recent purchases, what was Superior’s position in the Canadian market?
As you know, we supplied products and services from our U.S.-based manufacturing centres to the Canadian markets.
Had Superior been actively seeking opportunities to expand its presence in Canada?
Certainly. We have strong relationships with great customers in Canada.
Why invest in the Canadian market?
While we believe greater commitment is still needed, the federal government in Canada recently showed some support for the country’s aging infrastructure with long-term funding. In addition, Canada is one of the strongest global economies.
In March, you announced the first of two major purchases – the acquisition of Clemro Western. When the purchase was announced, it was said this would improve Superior’s bulk material portfolio. Was this purchase made in an effort to expand offerings to the aggregates industry, mining industry, or both?
Clemro Western also has a solid base of U.S. and Mexico-based clients. Was this an important factor in the purchase?
It sure was. The acceptance of their products in other markets was an important factor. However, their channel to market was not well-established in the United States and Mexico. This is an area of strength for Superior and can be used to supplement Clemro’s great product line.
Turning attention to the purchase of MFE Manufacturing. What was the strategy behind the purchase of MFE?
- MFE has advanced designs, improving our portable plant portfolio and offering to our dealers and customers.
- MFE has a dedicated engineering staff familiar with modern 3D modeling design practices.
- MFE increases our capacity to produce structure, freight sensitive conveyors and portable plants improving the availability of Superior products in Eastern Canada and northeastern USA.
- Similar to Neil Schmidgall’s vision when he started Superior in 1972, MFE is highly skilled at incorporating the voice of the customer into their innovative product designs.
You already have a strong distributor in Atlantic Canada with Aggregate Equipment. How does the purchase of MFE compliment this?
MFE has a strong product line that doesn’t currently offer Aggregate Equipment. In addition, MFE’s manufacturing plant in New Brunswick improves our price point in Atlantic Canada with freight sensitive products.
The two purchases came just six weeks apart. Is there any significance behind the timing of the purchase announcements?
Overall, where does this now leave Superior’s position in the Canadian aggregates industry?
Adding regional manufacturing and new products to our portfolios allows Superior to be a better partner for our dealers and customers