Employees, New Owners Help Save Sivyer Steel

Sep 20, 2018

A group of local investors is giving a Bettendorf manufacturer a new lease on life. Sivyer Steel announced Thursday it has emerged from bankruptcy and was sold in July for $6.5 million in cash. The company had been owned by Milwaukee-based FCF Partners since 1999. Its new name is Sivyer Steel Castings.

One of the investors is CEO Mike Baxley of LeClaire who says the 109 year old company currently employs 240 people. Demand for Sivyer's specialized products is growing while the Bettendorf company has unused capacity, i.e.: plenty of room to grow.

Other investors include the Tinsman family of Bettendorf, Chicago attorney John Lorentzen, and his brother Joel, the president of Crestwood Capitol Management in Rock Island.

Twenty-three year union employee, Salvatore Castaneda of Rock Island, takes a break in the shade at Sivyer Steel Castings in Bettendorf, IA.
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Baxley credits Sivyer's union workers for helping the company survive an economic downturn over the last several years. The steelworkers made significant concessions in their most recent contract. Many of them are welders, and Sivyer plans to hire more employees including welders, engineers, general laborers, and others.

The new owners also plan to replace all the light bulbs in the foundry with LEDs, and implement new safety and training programs.

Keith Kramer, of LeClaire, has been President of Sivyer Steel for more than ten years, and he'll continue in that role.

The company's economic impact is estimated at $22 million a year, which includes its payroll and contracts with vendors. Current annual sales total $40 million.