Barmoral Sells Interstate Southwest

Barmoral Advisors has sold Interstate Southwest Ltd., a Navasota, Texas-based provider of closed die steel forgings, to Ellwood Group Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Balmoral originally acquired the company 20 months ago, and used National City Capital Markets to manage the sale.




Interstate Southwest LTD (ISW) announced today that Ellwood Group Inc (EGI) had acquired the company from Balmoral Fund I L.P. and senior management in a stock transaction effective August 31, 2008.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We're extremely pleased that Ellwood has acquired Interstate,” said George Thomas, the President of ISW.  “Ellwood is a strong company in the business of making forgings and is dedicated to the business of operating companies for the long haul.  I believe they will bring continued stability to the company for our employees, our customers and the community for many years.”

Kevin Handerhan, the Chief Operating Officer for Ellwood Group's forging and casting companies stated “Ellwood is very excited about the acquisition of ISW.   ISW has outstanding people and excellent capabilities which will expand what we can offer to our existing customers.  ISW also brings new products and customers to EGI.  We intend to make the investments in people and facilities to enable ISW to remain a successful and growing company for the future.”

Outgoing-Chairman of ISW and Managing Director of Balmoral Advisors LLC, Jonathan Victor  added “George Thomas, Balmoral and the entire ISW team have worked very hard to turn around a very troubled forging business into a healthy and growing one.  The company has vastly improved manufacturing efficiency and increased the capabilities of its personnel and equipment.  ISW is now very effective at addressing customer needs.  Today, it is clearer than ever that everyone's hard work has paid off for all ISW stakeholders, including shareholders, customers and employees.”

National City Capital Markets was engaged to manage the sale of ISW.  “National City Capital Markets is proud to have worked on this process,” said Dave Hegeman, Managing Director and co-head of National City Capital Markets' Industrial Group. “In what is certainly a very difficult market environment, we are delighted to have participated in this very successful transaction.”

“During Balmoral's ownership and under the leadership of President George Thomas, ISW transitioned its product portfolio to higher margin, value-added products and implemented several strategic initiatives to improve operating efficiency and overall profitability.  This successful transformation made ISW a very attractive candidate for a sale to a strategic buyer such as Ellwood,” added Jeremy Eberlein, Director with National City Capital Markets' Industrial Group.



Interstate Southwest LTD is a leading provider of closed die steel forgings from 10 to 3,000 lbs.  It specializes in large components with complex geometries utilizing a variety of large forging hammers (up to 50,000 lbs.) and mechanical presses (as large as 7,000 tons). ISW also provides additional value added services to their customers such as heat treating and machining.  Its forgings are sold to companies all over North America servicing the heavy machinery, oil and gas, energy, military, heavy truck and automotive industries.

ISW has been a major company in Navasota, Texas since 1972.  After experiencing years of poor operating and financial performance, the company was purchased by Balmoral Fund I L.P. and senior management from Citation Corporation in 2007.  Balmoral and the present management team engineered a strong turnaround for the company during the prior 20 months.

Ellwood Group Incorporated is a privately held company headquartered in Ellwood City, PA.  EGI has sales in excess of 1.3 billion dollars worldwide and employs roughly 1,700 people.  It has a number of companies involved in the open and closed die forging business in the United States including Ellwood Texas Forge (ETF) in Houston, Texas.   Mark Cianci, the President of ETF, will assume the leadership of both ETF and ISW.  ISW will operate under the name of Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota (ETFN).

Balmoral Fund I L.P. is a Los Angeles-based private equity fund that makes control as well as minority investments in recapitalizations, restructurings and buyouts of companies that have become burdened or distressed due to high leverage, under-management, cyclical challenges, and limited access to capital.  Balmoral focuses on companies with sales of $25 million to $500 million and has maximum structuring flexibility.  For more information, please visit

National City Capital Markets provides strategic solutions including financial advisory, capital raising, capital commitment and risk management solutions to our corporate middle market and private equity clients. Backed by the resources of one of the nation's largest financial institutions, National City Corporation (NYSE:NCC), it is committed to building long-term relationships that help clients address business challenges, maximize value and execute their strategic goals. For more information on Investment Banking at National City Capital Markets, please visit