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Foundry sold; family is out

Greenville, PA (USA) - Hodge Foundry Co., one of Mercer County’s oldest manufacturers, said Monday it was sold to an investment company.

Silverhawk Capital Partners LLC, a Greenwich, Conn., investment firm, bought Hodge through its Elyria Foundry Co. LLC, a Cleveland area foundry. No sales price was disclosed.

Hodge Foundry was owned by Commonwealth Capital Group, members of the Hodge family and six local managers.

Under the sale, all the local managers will keep their positions but Hodge family members no longer have an interest in the company bearing their name.

Silverhawk touts itself as an investor in the industrial, energy/natural resources and business services industries.

Elyria Foundry produces castings for such industries as refrigeration equipment, pump and valve components and transmission equipment. But a key reason Silverhawk had an attraction for Hodge Foundry was a majority of Elyria Foundry’s castings are for energy markets such as drilling, natural gas compression and power generation.

Wind power generation has been a pivotal emerging market for Hodge Foundry as it produces heavy iron castings to run wind generators. The local foundry produces castings ranging from 3,000 to 200,000 pounds, while Elyria specializes in smaller castings from 50 to 50,000 pounds.

“It’s fair winds ahead,’’ said Joe Simko, president of Hodge Foundry. “This is good news for our company because Silverhawk wants an even larger presence in the wind business. I think this is going to mean even more jobs here.’’

Hodge Foundry will concentrate on producing castings over 50,000 pounds, while Elyria Foundry will focus on smaller castings, Simko said.

“We were inefficient in making stuff like gear boxes for the wind industry,’’ he said. “But with Elyria, we can now service all the needs of that industry.’’

The two foundries will operate independently except when it comes to the wind and mining industries, he added. Simko will report to Steven Wolf, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the combined foundry operations.

“It will take awhile to integrate and evolve our synergies,’’ Simko said of the two foundries. “We’ll take a look at what areas we overlap and what fits into each operation.’’

Employing 175, Hodge was created in 1876, the same year America celebrated its centennial and Gen. George Custer and the 7th Cavalry lost their famous battle at Little Big Horn.

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