Cameron exploring ‘strategic’ options that include selling Cheektowaga plant - The Buffalo News
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Cameron exploring ‘strategic’ options that include selling Cheektowaga plant

Cameron International Corp. could put its centrifugal compression business – which includes a Cheektowaga plant – up for sale, as the Houston-based company explores “strategic alternatives” for the business line.

Cameron revealed Monday it has an agreement to sell a different business segment, its reciprocating compression unit, to General Electric Co. for $550 million. In the same announcement, the company disclosed it was looking at options for its centrifugal compression business. Cameron supplies flow equipment products, systems and services to oil, gas and process industries around the world.

Jeff Altamari, a Cameron spokesman in Houston, said the announcement should not be interpreted to mean the business line in Cheektowaga is being sold, only that a sale is one option the company is considering. He declined to discuss what the other options are, saying he wanted to restrict his comments to what was shared in the company’s statement.

Jack Moore, Cameron’s president and chief executive officer, said in the statement that exploring alternatives for the centrifugal compression business “is part of our ongoing effort to optimize our asset base with a focus on our core markets. We are committed to directing resources to businesses where we have the best opportunities to achieve higher sales growth, higher margins and market leadership.”

The two business units share manufacturing facilities in Italy and China.

The Cheektowaga plant, located on Broadway, was once the home of Joy Manufacturing. In 1987, Cooper Industries bought Joy and formed the Cooper turbocompressor division. The parent company changed its name to Cameron from Cooper Cameron in 2006. The Cheektowaga plant designs and makes air and gas compressors for applications including industrial plants.

Peter Cooney, a business agent with Lodge 330 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents workers at the Cameron plant, said Monday he had not heard the company was looking at alternatives for its centrifugal compression business.

He said the Cheektowaga plant has about 350 hourly workers, in addition to salaried employees. Total employment at the plant could not be confirmed.

“The plant’s been doing well,” Cooney said, adding that the plant anticipates a “slow period” coming up due to the typical cycle and flow of orders, but that no layoffs were expected as a result.

Cameron is scheduled to report its full 2013 results Jan. 30. Cameron in 2012 reported total net income of $705.5 million on $8.5 billion in revenues.


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