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HCI Steel sold to Butler

Joe Holden -
Joe Holden
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ARLINGTON A manufacturing company brought to Arlington from Alaska in 1996 by Joe Holden, HCI Steel Building Systems, Inc., has been purchased by Butler Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of international manufacturer, BlueScope Steel Limited.
Holden and his partner, Lee McDaniel, are both approaching retirement age and are happy about the deal.
Starting out as a sheet metal worker, Holden founded HCI as Holden Construction Inc., in Alaska in 1974 and converted it to HCI Steel Building Systems Inc., with McDaniel in 1981. They currently employ 130 people.
HCI designs and manufactures steel building materials, including large beams and metal siding for the heavy industrial, commercial and community use, generating sales of nearly $40 million for the year ending June 2007.
We provided the materials for the Seahawks indoor practice facility and as well as the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums, Holden said. And the first metal Hooters in Bakersfield, he added proudly.
Its a good deal for all the employees because corporations dont retire. Small businesses are nice, until the owners die, Holden said while offering The Arlington Times a tour of the manufacturing facility at 188th Street and 67th Avenue.
The international corporation approached HCI last summer and it took four months to finalize the deal, Holden said. The papers were signed on Halloween.
The president of Butler in North America, Pat Finan, is also excited.
It should be good for everyone involved, Finan said adding that Butler has locations around the country and wanted a plant in the Northwest to serve the growing market in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.
HCI has a lot of know-how in that market, Finan said noting they intend to expand the facility and will make improvements for safety.
HCI products are used in the oil and gas and mining industries with a growing demand in Alberta, said Finan, who lived in Vancouver, Wash., while working with Butler before it was acquired by BlueScope. He now lives in St. Louis.
Arlington is HCIs single manufacturing plant. They did some major equipment upgrades in 2005 and converted to computer programming in 1999 to be among the most technically advanced PEB manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
HCI will complement Butlers current operations in North America by strengthening our footprint in the high-growth northwestern U.S. and western Canada markets, Finan said.
The acquisition of HCI enhances our position as one of the leading suppliers of steel building solutions in North America, Finan said.
HCI established a strong reputation in heavy industrial materials as well as self storage markets. It will improve our product offering to those markets. We welcome HCIs management and 130 employees to the company and look forward to working together to build an exciting future for our North American businesses, Finan said.
BlueScope Steel Limited is publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: BSL) and is the global leader in the provision of high quality metallic coated and painted steel solutions for the building and construction sector, and also supplies customers in the general manufacturing and automotive sectors. It employs over 18,000 people at 91 manufacturing sites in 17 countries around the world.
Holden said he and McDaniel have agreed to stay on at least two years.
We are very happy to have HCIs owners and founders stay on board with us, Finan said.
We expect no changes in personnel at the facility, until the expansion is completed, at which time well need more people, Finan said.
Its a great family-run business and we welcome all of the employees into our very large family. Business is all about the people, Finan said.
Holden said he intends to remain in Arlington where his 15-year-old daughter attends Arlington High School. He has been a contributing community member offering financial assistance to the Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America and 4-H among others, reflected on a wall full of certificates, along with the bounty from Holdens many hunting adventures.
Its always best to sell when times are good, Holden said. The economy is booming now and it should be good for a few more years.
Holden said he doesnt expect too much change. Except in safety the new company requires reflective vests and protective shoes.
For information about Butler Manufacturing Company see the Web site at www.ButlerMfg.com.

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