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SteelCoast completes purchase to save ship recycling and scrap processing complex

May 2, 2017 - Hilco Redevelopment Partners, a unit of Hilco Global (Hilco), and MCM Marine Services, an affiliate of MCM Management Corp. (MCM), announced today that they completed a transaction to purchase the assets of one of the largest and busiest ship recycling and scrap processing companies in the world (formerly known as ESCO Marine). The new joint venture company will be opened under the name SteelCoast (www.steelcoastus.com) with a new management and operations team to begin running the business immediately. SteelCoast’s headquarters are in Brownsville, Texas.

The joint venture deal closed on May 1, 2017 following US Bankruptcy Court proceedings presided over by Judge David R. Jones. Hilco and MCM acquired the assets from the previous ship recycling and scrapping operation which were sold following a chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding filed in late 2015. Financial details and purchase price were not disclosed.

Hilco Redevelopment Partners EVP and SteelCoast Board Member, Roberto Perez said, “Putting a deal together to acquire and relaunch this unique ship recycling and scrap processing business was complex, especially given the nature of the assets and our goal of maintaining key U.S. Government client relationships. Following a lengthy diligence process, we are confident that SteelCoast has a very substantial growth path.”

Rob Mardigian, CEO of MCM and SteelCoast Board Member, said, “Hilco and MCM have become very proficient at identifying new opportunities for industrial facilities that many have viewed as too challenging to tackle.” The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based MCM and Northbrook, Illinois based Hilco, have collaborated on industrial real estate remediation and redevelopment projects in recent years including major automobile OEM sites, energy generating facilities, and recently, the 3100-acre redevelopment project called Tradepoint Atlantic, the former site of Bethlehem Steel in Baltimore, MD.

The new company, SteelCoast, will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced reclamation, remediation and recycling firms located in North America. The Brownsville, Texas facility, which has already undergone over one million dollars in renovations and improvements, will provide a complete end to end solution including recycling of huge oceangoing vessels (both military and non-military) from around the world.  SteelCoast will also dismantle decommissioned, idled or underutilized oil rigs, train locomotives, railcars, as well as other industrial and commercial sources of recyclable metals. Additionally, SteelCoast will process automobiles and other light metal products in its 4500 HP shredder. These types of reclamation and recycling projects allow for the scrap processing of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals during the dismantling process. SteelCoast will then work to process and resell the scrap to be used in various other manufacturing industries.

Hilco and MCM also announced today that it has installed Mr. Kris Wood as CEO at SteelCoast and is in the process of adding an experienced operations and management team. Working with Mr. Wood over the last many months, SteelCoast has developed a detailed business plan which includes an investment in sales support to build upon its very impressive client base, which includes contracts with the U.S. Navy and marketing and reselling of the recycled materials. SteelCoast also has immediate plans to invest millions of dollars more into the infrastructure, berths, technology and equipment to ensure the facility is a leading state of the art, world class ship recycling and scrap processing facility.

CEO Kris Wood has considerable experience within the ship recycling and scrap processing industry. As a lifelong South Texas resident, he worked at the former company for over 12 years, having touched almost every operational and administrative aspect of the business as he added new management responsibilities throughout his career. “I’m excited to take on this opportunity to build SteelCoast and establish its place atop the industry, in Brownsville and with our employees,” Mr. Wood said. 

Mr. Wood has led several key team projects over the years including oversight of key U.S. Navy and MARAD initiatives. Mr. Wood said, “I understand that building a hardworking and trusted employee base is vital.  I’m excited that SteelCoast will bring back hundreds of jobs to the community which knows this business well.” The company indicated that it would have approximately 130 employees by the end of May 2017, with plans to hire 80 - 90 more in the coming months. 

Mr. Eduardo A. Campirano, Port Director & CEO of the Port of Brownsville said, “We couldn’t be more pleased that Hilco and MCM will open its recycling facility and get business going again at SteelCoast.”  Mr. Campirano went on to say that Brownsville, Texas was the most strategically important place in the world for this type of work and that “it seems SteelCoast as the new company name is an ideal branding decision that actually reflects this region and its vital role as the ship recycling hub of America, providing a hardworking labor force and excellent proximity to steel-processing plants.”

SteelCoast will immediately commence the work of dismantling the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga and former MARAD vessels SHENANDOAH & YELLOWSTONE. 

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