Transport giant snaps up US steel provider in £5m deal

Transport infrastructure firm Hill & Smith has announced its acquisition of a US steel provider, to expand its customer base and boost capacity and capability.

Capital Steel has been purchased for £5m, with £950k to be paid if the firm meets financial performance targets in the two years post-acquisition.

The New Jersey-based firm led by Robert Hickman, who will be staying with the business, has served the utility and infrastructure needs across the US East Coast for over 25 years, with a focus on New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Supplying structural steel products and services principally into the electrical transmission and distribution market, Capital Steel will now join Hill & Smith’s V&S Schuler Utilities Group, within its Engineered Solutions division.

It’s the fourth acquisition Hill & Smith has completed in the last 12 months following additions such as United Fiberglass acquired for £11.4m, Korns Galvanizing Company for £9.4m, US firm National Signal in a deal worth around £22.2m and Widnes Galvanising for £3.7m.

Hill & Smith also disposed of its French galvanising and steel lighting column operations, France Galva for £62m.
Its purchase of Texas-based Enduro Composites for $35m (£28.7m) followed in February 2023.

In the 12 months to August 2023, Capital Steel reported revenues of $8.1m, adjusted EBIT of $1.0m and gross assets of $3.7m. The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing to Hill & Smith in 2024.

Alan Giddins, Executive Chair of Hill & Smith said: “Capital Steel operates in one of our most attractive end markets, and the acquisition is in line with our strategy of acquiring businesses with strong long-term growth potential.

“We have known the business for many years, and it is an excellent fit with our existing, high growth US utility business. I am delighted to welcome Robert Hickman and his employees to the Group.”