Johnstown Wire Technologies

An exterior shot of Johnstown Wire Technologies in the city’s West End.

A United Kingdom-based industrial conglomerate is apparently eyeing a Johnstown company, according to an industry magazine.

Liberty House Group, a 4,500-employee company based in London, is looking to expand its presence in the American steel market and is considering acquiring multiple U.S. companies, including Johnstown Wire Technologies, according to Fastmarkets’ American Metal Magazine.

Fastmarkets describes itself as the definitive source for commodity data in the metals, minerals and forest product industries, and has been providing pricing and insight to clients for well over a century, its website shows.

Johnstown Wire Technologies CEO Jack Miller said company officials are aware of Fastmarkets’ article and that Liberty House’s parent company has shown a public interest in ramping up its U.S. steel presence, but said he could not offer comment or details on any of the Laurel Avenue plant’s potential suitors.

The Johnstown-based steel wire product producer employs more than 250 people and is owned by a group that includes Aterian Investment Partners.

The New York equity firm, which acquired the more than 630,000-square-foot plant in 2014, specializes in turning around distressed or under-performing companies, The Tribune-Democrat reported at the time.

Liberty House’s parent company, GFG Alliance, has been expanding its presence in the United States over the past year – restarting South Carolina’s idled Georgetown steelworks in June.

The move put 125 union steelworkers back to work, and company officials said employment was projected to grow to 320 in the future, company officials said in a release to media.

At the time, company executives said it was the initial step in a $5 billion investment across the U.S. and Canada over the next few years.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5053. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.