Atlanta-based Phoenix Metals Company plans to invest $12 million in a new 65,000-square-foot metal processing operation at Chaffee Crossing that could employ up to 40 with an average wage of $15 per hour.
The deal was finalized Thursday (Mar. 21) with a vote by the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority to approve the land transaction. Phoenix Metals has 12 operations, including a processing site in Russellville.
“Phoenix Metals has been looking to add a service center somewhere along the I-40 corridor from Russellville to Tulsa to take care of our customers in that region,” Don Gray, the Russellville site manager for Phoenix, said in a statement released by the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce. “The Chaffee Crossing Development and the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce sold us on the Fort Smith Area. We are excited to become a part of the growing industrial development at Chaffee Crossing.”
Phoenix uses advanced laser and other cutting machines to provide cut-to-length orders, precision blanking, slitting, polishing, plasma cutting, shearing, and sawing.
The Fort Smith Regional Chamber, City of Fort Smith and the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority worked together to recruit the company.
“Phoenix Metals decision to locate its processing center and warehouse operation in Fort Smith is a testament of our commitment to recruit high-tech businesses to this region,” Tim Allen, president of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, noted in the press release. “A Fortune 500 company of this quality locating its operation in Fort Smith is a win for both company and community.”
Continuing, Allen noted: “It's actually a processing company, not a manufacturing company. The process is the schematics come into the company and then they high tech skills needed to put computer data into the system will then take place and process the metal. So it's not actually manufacturing, it's processing and distribution."
Allen said the company wants to be up and operating by September.
Phoenix is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE: RS), the largest metals service center company in North America. Reliance and its companies operate in more than 240 locations in 38 states, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The company products include galvanized, hot-rolled and cold-finished steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, titanium and alloy steel.
Fiscal year 2012 sales for Reliance totaled $8.44 billion, up 3.8% compared to the 2011 period. Tons sold increased 5.4% from the prior year.
Net income during 2012 was $403.5 million, up 17.4% compared to the 2011 period.
“We are very excited about the Phoenix Metals announcement. In addition to the capital investment and job creation, it’s another statement by a national company that Chaffee Crossing, Fort Smith and the region is the place to expand and do business. Phoenix Metals will become a premier industrial neighbor within the Chaffee Crossing industrial development.” said Ivy Owen, CEO of Chaffee Crossing.
Reliance went on an acquisition spree in 2012 that continued into 2013. The company announced Feb. 1, 2012, the purchase of McKey Perforating Co., a Tennessee operation that had 2011 sales of $18 million.
On April 4, Reliance acquired National Specialty Alloys, a global alloy processor based in Houston that reported $96 million in annual sales during its most recent fiscal year. That was followed by an April 30 announcement of a deal to acquire the Worthington Steel plant in Vonore, Tenn.
Reliance officials then announced Sept. 30 a deal to acquire GH Metal Solutions, a carbon steel fabricator based in Fort Payne, Ala., that reported 2011 sales of $44 million.
On Oct. 1, Reliance announced it had acquired Houston-based Sunbelt Steel Texas, a supplier of steel to the oil and gas industry.
In February 2013, the company announced a $1.2 billion deal to acquire Metals USA Holdings Corp. The deal was approved by the Board of both companies, and awaits regulatory clearances.