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FINNISH FIRM BUYING AMERICAN BRASS CO.

American Brass Co. executives today announced the Buffalo company has agreed to be purchased by a Finland company, Outokumpu.

A statement announcing the coming takeover said the 900-employee plant will keep its headquarters in Buffalo and its current executives will continue to actively manage the company.

American Brass will become part of the Outokumpu Copper Group, which includes three U.S. companies: Valleycast Inc. in Appleton, Wis.; the Nippert Co. in Delaware, Ohio, and Outokumpu Copper in Chicago.

Outokumpu has $3 billion in sales worldwide and more than 16,000 employees engaged in mining, metallurgy, copper products, stainless steel, electronics, engineering and equipment.

American Brass has been reported to have annual sales of more than $350 million.

Joseph E. Goodell, president of American Brass, said in an afternoon press conference that Outokumpu offers American Brass access to the newest technology in the industry and greater access to the worldwide market.

Pertti Voutilainen, chairman of Outokumpu, said American Brass gives the Finnish company a strong presence in the United States, which it currently lacks.

He said he was attracted to American because of its reputation for quality and because of its high-quality management, which Outokumpu plans to keep in place.

Neither executive would state the price paid for the company, but they said it was entirely a cash deal.

American Brass was purchased in 1985 from the Atlantic Richfield Co. by a group of local investors headed by Randolph A. Marks, retired chairman of Computer Task Group, and Paul W. Joy, former president of the Carborundum Co.

The purchase price then was reported to be about $160 million.

After the purchase, the company headquarters was moved from Illinois to its 23-acre site on Military Road and Sayre Avenue in Buffalo.

The company also operates a plant in Kenosha, Wis., and a copper tubing mill in Franklin, Ky.

Goodell ran the North Coast plant in 1977, when he was group vice president of Chase Brass & Copper Co., which owned the Ohio operation then.

The production and maintenance workers at the company's main plant in Buffalo are represented by Local 593 of the United Steelworkers of America.

Since its founding in 1907 as Buffalo Copper and Brass Rolling Mills, American Brass has been a leading producer of brass and copper strip tube products.

Many of its products are used by manufacturers of automobile radiators and air conditioners. The Harrison Radiator Division of General Motors and the Blackstone Corp. in Jamestown are major customers.

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