Tulsa-based First Process Steel is sold to Texas firm
By: Phil Mulkins – Tulsa World
Two brothers who own a Fort Worth metals firm announced Monday they have acquired Tulsa fabrication and cutting firm First Process Steel Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
“This acquisition will greatly enhance our family of steel companies and our service offerings as well as open up a new geographic presence,” Ryan Letz said. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome First Process Steel their employees, customers and all their partnerships to the Willbanks Metals family.”
He said the purchase was made “to open up a new opportunity in oil and gas equipment and heat exchanger manufacturing a new geographic market for us and furthers our goal to distribute steel in that area (north of Texas). Diversification is the key to success in this business and we sought to diversify in this new market with some new manufacturers, for us to move forward.”
The CNC (computer numerically controlled) cutting machines at First Process are capable of precisely cutting 6-inch steel shapes from 12-by-60-foot plates, according to the company’s website. Its primary customer is Valmont Industries, maker of the towering, welded steel power poles that hold major transmission lines.
Newton talked to the Tulsa World 14 months ago about his business success. He credited Tulsa’s strong manufacturing base and remembered heeding an advisory group’s warnings that helped First Process avoid some of the pitfalls of the Great Recession.
“Do not beat yourself up over mistakes,” Newton replied when asked about the most important lesson he learned as an owner. “Just know that mistakes provide us with great opportunities for correction and growth.”