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Published: Wednesday, 10/1/2003

North Star to sell plant in Monroe in cash deal

North Star Steel Co. said yesterday it will sell its North Star Steel Michigan operation in Monroe to Quanex Corp. of Houston for an undisclosed amount of cash.

North Star, a subsidiary of privately owned Cargill Inc., of Minneapolis, said the 23-year-old Monroe facility, with 381 employees, should be transferred to Quanex by Nov. 1 if the deal meets with government approval.

The Monroe plant, on Front Street, makes carbon and alloy specialty bars and engineered steel used in the automotive, heavy-truck, and farm-equipment industries, largely for suspension and drive-train components.

Quanex, a maker of vehicle and construction components with annual sales of about $1 billion and about 3,500 employees, said the Monroe plant has annual revenue of $175 million.

Jeff Galow, a vice president of Quanex, said the Monroe facility “will be a great fit” in Quanex's Macsteel division.

North Star Steel's president, Jon Ruth, said in a statement, “This was a difficult decision to make, but it provides a great opportunity for our Monroe employees to grow and prosper with a leading steel producer.”

North Star has sold three of its operations in the last 18 months.

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