Lethiguel, a French company active in the light metal casting industry, has acquired a 100% stake in Midland Technologies Incorporated, a Minneapolis-based foundry solutions provider specialising in degassing and vacuum technologies. The transaction closed on 2 July 2021.
Through this strategic move, the Lethiguel Group acquires an industrial subsidiary in the US, as well as complementary technology and know-how for products targeting the HPDC industry. Exactly what doors does this open for the two companies?
Lethiguel's goal is to expand its expertise and technical competence in die casting. As part of its global strategy, it is necessary for Lethiguel to establish a subsidiary and a local sales and technical support team in the US. The acquisition of Midland and the integration of its activities and product portfolio was an opportunity to strengthen the future prospects of both companies. Midland has further production capacities and brings competences in research and development. With its promising market and innovation potential, Midland furthers Lethiguel's presence in the US while benefiting from the French group's global sales and distribution channels. Through the merger, the Lethiguel Group reaffirms its position as a multispecialist in a demanding and complex industrial environment.
Lethiguel's vision: The Lethiguel Group is becoming a global specialist in foundry solutions and is constantly developing new industries and markets. It is an indispensable part of the light metal casting industry as a technical niche specialist for heating and cooling solutions.
The company already serves customers in 40 countries on all 5 continents and is active in all segments of the light metal value chain: Primary and secondary aluminium production, foundries, die casting (HPDC, GDC, LPDC) and recycling.
Lethiguel was founded in 1976 and started as a trading company distributing crucibles and machine tools to the French aluminium industry. Over the years, the company expanded its domestic distribution portfolio, relying on innovative and reliable companies such as the DVS Group, Ahresty, HB Therm and Thermobiehl - to name a few.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the annual turnover was USD 2,360,000. With the acquisition of a small, promising company in 2003, the company began developing and manufacturing its own thermal technology. Over the years, Lethiguel focused on developing its export sales and international markets, resulting in a complete reversal of the ratio between domestic and export sales within a decade. To sustain this new, sophisticated business model, with exports accounting for 80% of sales, the company built a network of international agents and opened sales and support offices in Germany (2013), Canada (2015/resolved 2019), Japan (2016) and Mexico (2021).
The most recent turning point in the company's history came with the introduction of an industrial ERP system and the relocation of its headquarters to a new building in Lentilly (northern suburb of Lyon) in 2019, a year that saw record annual sales of $14,177,000.
Midland Technologies Background
The company was founded in the 1990s by Richard Duba, a former tool designer in the HPDC industry. Midland developed innovative vacuum systems with special tooling elements that quickly found a strong and loyal customer base in the US.
As a long-time member of NADCA and a recognised expert in its field, Midland shows potential for further technical development as the HPDC process becomes increasingly complex and requires state-of-the-art peripheral technologies.
Midland Technologies, Inc. has an extensive range of products to support the die casting industry. Major products include valveless vacuum blocks, vent blocks, jet coolers, and vacuum pumps and accessories. Midland has also developed a new product called Vac-Alert, a patent-pending technology that provides real-time indication of the vacuum level in the mould cavity. In addition, the company offers its customers gating systems, bushings and cooled inserts.
Guillaume Levacher, CEO of the Lethiguel Group:
With Lethiguel, we want to create a group that reflects our values. As a family business, our vision is focused on long-term goals and we believe that our teams are the key to our mutual success. The light metals industry is facing interesting challenges, driven by the weight reduction of vehicles in the automotive industry. With the development of innovative and application-oriented solutions as well as a strong sense of service, we serve our customers worldwide with a strong local presence.
Throughout our company's history, we have always been committed to our customers by responding to their needs and closely monitoring industry developments. We believe that sustainability, innovativeness and our ability to adapt to change have enabled us to grow from a local player to an international company. The Lethiguel team is multicultural: we have more than 14 nationalities and speak 13 different languages; this is a great advantage that allows us to drive our globalised business with a very open-minded approach."