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Private equity firm freestone partners acquires Sunbelt Steel of Houston


Freestone Partners, LLC has partnered with company management to acquire Sunbelt Steel Texas, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Sunbelt Steel Texas is a manufacturer of drill collars and a value-added distributor of steel round bar, specializing in high-performance alloy grades and machining services. The company's primary end-user market is oil and gas drilling, where steel round bar is used to manufacture drill collars. Sunbelt is distinguished by high-caliber management, strong relationships with premier steel mills, an array of value-added services and a robust inventory. Three key Sunbelt executives participating along with Freestone Partners include Michael Kowalski, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Presidents Kathy Rutledge and Jerry Wasson. Kowalski remarked, "We are pleased to partner with Freestone in this transaction. We believe that the Freestone team brings a lot to the table in terms of strategy, marketing and financial strength."

In addition, the board of Sunbelt Steel has appointed Russell Ginn as Non-Executive Chairman. Mr. Ginn has a strong background as CEO of manufacturing companies serving the energy industry. Most recently, he was CEO of The Flexitallic Group, a gasket manufacturer that was acquired by a European entity in 2007.

George Clark of Freestone Partners commented, "Sunbelt Steel is an outstanding company with first-rate suppliers and customers as well as a highly-capable and dedicated management team. They are a welcome addition to and a sound fit with our portfolio." Freestone Partners' Mark Leyerle added, "We are delighted to work with Sunbelt's team to further strengthen the company and build upon their 22 years of success."

Lenders providing financing for the transaction include PNC Bank and Stonehenge Capital.

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