Yorkville mills could see change in ownership

YORKVILLE – The positive future of steel production operations at two mills in Yorkville are all but being confirmed publicly, as Cleveland-based international businessmen led a small group of investment firm representatives through the facilities this week as part of several days of meetings.

Uwe T. Schmidt, head of a privately held management services, banking and assets management company with headquarters in Cleveland, and which also has extensive global interests and operations, seems to be the man leading this now anticipated change in ownership mix and operational directions for the Ohio Cold Rolling Company and the Ohio Coatings Company.

Ohio Coatings Company has continued uninterrupted operations in recent years as its ownership structure and labor force has always been separate from that in place at the 100-year-old mill on Public Road in Yorkville, which has most recently been known as the Ohio Cold Rolling Company.

The older mill was shuttered and never returned to operational status since it was closed by former owner R.G. Steel’s entry into federal bankruptcy proceedings though purchased by Jim Bouchard of Esmark.

A return to an operational status of any level at the older mill would be expected to likely provide conveniently available and cost-effective consistent quality steel product for tin-plate finishing operations at Ohio Coatings Company.

When the newer of the two facilities was built just south of the Village of Yorkville almost 20 years ago, the Public Road location of the cold rolled facility played a clear role in the process which determined where the tin-plate facility was to be located, as there were several possible sites for its construction under consideration at that time.

Of note regarding OCC, from the very beginning, the firm’s ownership and management has been led by the Korean-based steel company today known as TCC. In recent weeks, a top representative of that firm is said to have met outside this region with representatives working to bring these ownership and positive operational changes about.

Additionally, local industry and government leaders are known to have been in contact in recent weeks with state level entities asking them to support this proposed business plan’s organizational and operational structures.