Signature Group’s Secret Weapon — Losing $900 Million

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

By JOEL RUSSELL, Staff Reporter

Can a new chief executive reverse the long story of losses at Signature Group Holdings Inc.?

That’s the question shareholders hope will be answered on July 16, when the Sherman Oaks company convenes its annual meeting. The gathering comes on the heels of an aborted proxy battle and executive shake-up that made Craig Bouchard the new top executive.

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China’s Poison Air Is Becoming Its Leading Export


By William Pesek

March 22 (Bloomberg) — Sitting on a Tokyo runway last week, the captain announced that our flight would be delayed for reasons few of us could believe: sandstorms.

Chuckles filled the aircraft. The woman next to me quipped: “What, are we in Egypt?” As we all craned our necks to look out the windows, it really did feel as if we were taxiing in Cairo or Marrakesh, not the capital of a Group of Seven nation.

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Iron Ore Unlikely to Rebound as China Slows, Shale-Inland Says

Bloomberg News

By Joe Richter

Iron-ore prices, down 25 percent this year, probably won’t rebound as the economy slows in China, the world’s biggest importer and steelmaker, according to Shale- Inland Holdings LLC.

Prices for steel, which have dropped 10 percent in 2012, also won’t recover, said Craig Bouchard, the chief executive officer of Shale-Inland, which fabricates and distributes metals.

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Features: July 2012: Five Decades, Six Owners, and Still Standing Firm

The Wholesaler

By Mary Jo Martin, Editorial director

The acquisition of the IPVF Group of HD Supply by a trio of investors, finalized in March, was one of the biggest — and most talked-about — transactions in the PVF industry in recent memory. This organization, now known as the Shale-Inland PVF Group, has such a unique story, and I recently spent time in Houston with key members of its management team to talk about where they’ve been and what this latest acquisition will mean for their future. Their faith in each other, and in this new group of owners, is so strong that more than 30 managers and high-level employees have invested their personal money into the new venture.

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Jobs Engine Sputters Again in April

Weak Employment Data Put Pressure on Obama’s Pitch of Economic Rebound

Wall Street Journal


U.S. job growth slowed in April, spooking markets and giving President Barack Obama a tougher sell as he tries to convince voters that the economy is on the mend.

The disappointing jobs report raised concerns that the economy, which appeared to be accelerating late last year and early this year, is bogging down again. The labor force shrank again last month, indicating more workers are throwing in the towel.

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Shale-Inland Announces Completion of Industrial Pipe, Valves and Fittings Acquisition


CHICAGO, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Shale-Inland Holdings, LLC today announced the completion of its acquisition of the Industrial Pipe, Valves and Fittings business (“IPVF”) of HD Supply, Inc. IPVF is comprised of several businesses including Southwest Stainless and Alloy, J&J Alloys, Sunbelt Supply Co. and Metals Inc., collectively one of the nation’s largest master distributors of stainless steel, chrome, nickel alloys, aluminum and carbon pipe, plate, bar, valves, flanges and fittings – with a global footprint. The IPVF companies have been combined with Main Steel and Shale-Inland Stamping & Fabricating to form one of North America’s largest industrial supply companies.

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Behind the Deal: HD Supply & Shale-Inland Divestments Behind, HD Supply Plans to Focus on Core ‘Leadership Platforms’

HD Supply recently announced it would sell its Industrial PVF division to Shale-Inland Holdings. This article looks at the impact of the deal on both companies and what’s next for HD Supply.

Modern Distribution Management

VOL. 42, NO. 6

By Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier

The decision to sell off the industrial PVF division of HD Supply was an easy one, according to CEO Joe DeAngelo. “It was a lot more speculative a business than we wanted to be in,” he said in an interview with MDM. Because of its “tremendous” working capital requirements and volatile ties to commodity markets, the division also had very different operating characteristics than the remaining divisions of HD Supply. On the other side of the deal, where HD Supply saw a disconnect with its other businesses, Shale-Inland Holdings, a metals service center, saw a great complement. The division provides an inroad to the energy markets, a segment identified by Shale-Inland’s CEO Craig T. Bouchard as critical. “This has really been a vision of Shale-Inland to go in this direction,” Bouchard says. “We want to be the best metals provider into the energy segment.” In addition, Shale-Inland will be able to add plate metals to its existing portfolio through the Metals Inc. division of HD Supply’s IPVF business.

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Two-step Shale-Inland Deal Moves it Further into Energy Sector


By Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin

NEW YORK — Shale-Inland LLC announced a pair of actions Monday that will put it on firmer footing in the energy sector. The moves by the Chicago-based company, established a year-and-a-half ago to capitalize on what its founders saw as a coming “renaissance” in North American manufacturing, will culminate in combining its metal and protective film distribution, stamping and fabrication assets with HD Supply Inc.’s industrial pipe, valves and fittings (IPVF) business, collectively one of the country’s largest master and industrial distributors of stainless steel, chrome, nickel and nickel alloys, aluminum and carbon steel pipe, plate, bar, coil, sheet, valves, flanges and fittings.

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Behind The Scenes: Shale-Inland’s Purchase Of HD Supply’s IPVF Division

Industrial Distribution

Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

When Industrial Distribution heard about the sale of HD Supply’s IPVF Division to a much smaller distribution company named Shale-Inland, we were curious: what made this transaction possible? What went on behind the scenes to make this transfer happen? We spoke with both Joe DeAngelo, CEO of HD Supply, and Craig T. Bouchard, CEO of Shale-Inland, to get their scoop on the deal. Here is ID’s brief interview with Joe DeAngelo, and below it you will find an in-depth discussion with Craig Bouchard on what this transaction means for Shale-Inland going forward.

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Esmark Founder Bouchard Said to Agree to Buy HD Supply Unit

Bloomberg News

By Sonja Elmquist & Zachary R. Mider

Craig Bouchard, co-founder of steelmaker Esmark Inc., is close to announcing a deal to buy HD Supply Inc.’s pipe and valve distribution unit for about $500 million, said people with knowledge of the matter. Bouchard plans to combine the business with his steel distributor, Shale-Inland, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the transaction hasn’t been disclosed. TowerBrook Capital Partners LP, a New York-based private equity firm, is investing in the combined company and will have a majority stake, the people said.

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