Service Centers

Simon Sells Contractors Steel to Union Partners

Written by Tim Triplett

For the many friends and admirers who believed Don Simon would be in the steel business forever, the day has finally come. Simon has sold the family business to Union Partners.

“I am extremely grateful to have been able to serve the steel industry for as long as I have,” stated the 87-year-old Simon, who founded the service center operation in 1960. “Throughout my 60 years in the industry, I have seen a lot of changes occur and rather than shy away, my team and I embraced these shifts as opportunities to grow the business. I see that same mindset in Union Partners and believe in their determination and ability to breathe new life into the steel service center industry. I could not be happier that the legacy of Contractors, and the fantastic workforce that supports it, will continue to thrive under Union Partners’ strong vision and stewardship.”

Contractors Steel serves North America from five strategic locations in the Midwest: Livonia, Grand Rapids and Van Buren Township, Mich.; Twinsburg, Ohio; and Hammond, Ind. It built its reputation on having a large and varied inventory of carbon and structural steel products, along with a fleet of more than 90 trucks, enabling it to service customers within 24 hours. The company maintains over 100,000 tons of carbon and structural plate, beams, pipe, tube, angles and channels within 2.1 million square feet of indoor and outdoor storage space. Contractors also has a full range of processing capabilities that include laser cutting, drilling, tapping, machining, cambering, grinding, saw cutting, shearing, press breaking, plate and structural rolling, plate processing and plate burning. It employs 390 and has annual revenues around $250 million.

“Contractors Steel is a company where entrepreneurialism and family values took hold decades ago—a model we are replicating with Union Partners today. We are honored to welcome Contractors to the family and humbled that Don Simon, who is greatly admired in the industry, has chosen us to carry on his legacy,” stated Chris Hutter and Paul Douglass, co-founders of Chicago-based Union Partners.

Marc Bokas, long-time chief operating officer for the company, will succeed Simon as chief executive officer. “Union Partners’ acquisition of Contractors Steel Company opens a whole new range of opportunities for our employees and customers,” Bokas said. “Their innovative, professional and forward-looking approach to business will drive us to enhance our performance in all ways. Combining the best practices and policies of Contractors Steel with those of the Union Partners’ family of companies, we shall strive to produce an optimum operating entity that will meet or exceed all industry standards and expectations. I greatly appreciate this opportunity and look forward to a fantastic future for myself and all of Contractors Steel employees.”

The strategic acquisition of Contractors Steel provides further expansion for Union Partners as they focus on increasing their geographical reach and product offerings. Contractors joins Union Partners’ family of companies that includes Maksteel, Lamination Specialties, Mapes & Sprowl, Cortran, Lee Steel, Chicago Steel, Berg Steel, JIT Steel Service, JIT Steel Transport, Opus Metals and a greenfield development on the campus of Big River Steel.

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