Va. metals distributor buys Baltimore firm

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 12, 2007|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter

A Richmond, Va.-based metals distributor is expanding into Maryland with plans to purchase the assets of Baltimore-based distributor ALN Metals Inc.

BMG Metals Inc., which now has more than 200 employees and six locations in Virginia and North Carolina, expects to complete the purchase of the smaller ALN for an undisclosed amount on Monday. It will move to Halethorpe, a part of southwest Baltimore County undergoing a surge of commercial redevelopment and relocations.

BMG will move ALN's equipment and inventory from a Curtis Avenue site into 42,000 square feet of leased space in a 700,000-square- foot-plant occupied by several industrial tenants on Halethorpe Farms Road.

Companies that have recently moved their headquarters or regional operations to the area include Bakery Express, the Maryland Food Bank, Ferguson Enterprises and Cowan Trucking, according to the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.

Ferguson, one of the largest distributors of plumbing supplies and heating and cooling equipment in the nation, has moved into the former Stroh Brewery on Hollins Ferry Road after redeveloping the 367,000-square-foot plant.

BMG chose to expand to Baltimore because many of its suppliers have manufacturing and distribution operations in the area.

"We've been hearing there is a vacuum for the type of service we provide," said Thomas S. Gay, an executive vice president of the family-run company. "We think the market is there. It's close to our suppliers and only 55 miles from our closest branch in Manassas."

In the first year, the company plans to hire about a dozen workers and add inventory and equipment to process aluminum, stainless steel, brass and cold-finished and alloy bars. The company expects to eventually employ about two dozen people in Baltimore.

BMG's largest customers are chemical companies that buy metals for industrial plants, utilities and structural steel fabricators, Gay said. BMG was founded in 1963.

Albert L. Nalley, ALN's founder and president, will become a branch manager for BMG's new Baltimore operation.

Nalley founded ALN in 1997 as a metals supplier to machine shops, industrial plants, steel fabricators and state and federal agencies.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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