Precision Castparts grows with 15th acquisition

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Articles - March 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oregon’s fastest-growing public company has grown even more formidable — and complicated — with its recent acquisition of a 49% share in Yangzhou Chengde Steel Tube Co. of Jiangsu Province, China.

The deal represents the 15th acquisition Portland-based Precision Castparts (PCP) has made since Mark Donegan took over as CEO in 2002. Donegan has earned a strong reputation among investors and analysts as a hard-charging leader who has grown the company’s market value by a factor of 10 in less than eight years. The company ranked 362nd on the most recent Fortune 500 list.

Donegan has been relentless in his pursuit of metal casting companies specializing in aeronautics. Here’s a list of businesses PCP has purchased since Donegan took over, investing a total of $3.9 billion:

December 2003: SPS Technologies of Jenkintown, Pa., for $729 million
March 2005: Air Industries Corp. of Garden Grove, Calif., for $198 million
January 2006: Shur-Lok and Shur-Lok Intl. of Irvine, Calif., for $113 million
May 2006: Special Metals of Huntington, W.Va., for $528 million
February 2007: GSC Foundries of Ogden, Utah, $77 million
February 2007: Cherry Aerospace of Santa Ana, Calif., for $298 million
April 2007: McWilliams Forge of Rockaway, N.J., $91 million
July 2007: Caledonian Alloys, Livingston, Scotland, $208 million
September 2008: Airdrome Precision Components, Long Beach, Calif., price undisclosed
September 2008: AF Aerospace, Rugby, England, price undisclosed
November 2008: Fatigue Technology, Seattle, Wash., price undisclosed
December 2008: Hackney Ladish Holding Corp, Dallas, Texas, price undisclosed
September 2009: Carlton Forge Works, Paramount, Calif., for $850 million
January 2010: Yangzhou Chengde Steel Tube, China, $350 million

In a recent earnings call, Donegan said PCP had been pursuing the Chengde deal for more than a year and told analysts, “We are not going to retreat from taking advantage of every single opportunity to derive value from our businesses.”

BEN JACKLET
 

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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