The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm that owns Wheatland Tube Co. parent John Maneely Co. (JMC), has agreed to merge JMC with Atlas Tube Inc. Following the transaction, Carlyle will hold a majority interest in the combined company, which will be the largest North American manufacturer of steel tubing with sales in excess of $2 billion and annual volume of more than 2 million tons. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006. Financial terms were not disclosed.

JMC will remain as the parent entity, with Wheatland Tube and Atlas Tube its two operating divisions.
Founded in 1877, JMC manufactures standard pipe, electrical conduit, fence framework, sprinkler pipe, mechanical tube and associated fittings. The company employs 1,700 people in six manufacturing facilities in five states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas and Texas. JMC was acquired by Carlyle in March 2006.

Founded in 1984, Atlas manufactures structural tubing known as “hollow structural sections” (HSS). The company employs 635 people in three states and two Canadian provinces: Illinois, Arkansas, Michigan, Ontario and Manitoba. Atlas is privately held by the family of its founder.

Following the transaction, Armand Lauzon Jr., currently CEO of JMC, will become CEO of the combined business, and Barry Zekelman, CEO of Atlas, will lead all commercial and manufacturing operations.

Carlyle Managing Director Daniel A. Pryor said, “We believe that scale is essential for manufacturers to succeed in the hyper-competitive global environment. By making John Maneely Co. the largest North American manufacturer of tubing products, this combination positions the business well for the future.”

Atlas CEO Barry Zekelman commented, “I am excited by the business prospects arising from the merger and look forward to working with a joint team driven by an ongoing commitment to entrepreneurialism and enhancing the competitive strength of the North American manufacturing sector.”