State Industries

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Advised the shareholders of State Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters, on the sale of the business to A.O. Smith Corporation, a manufacturer of residential and commercial water heating equipment and electric motors for residential and commercial applications. The acquisition includes APCOM, a State Industries subsidiary that manufactures elements, thermostats, drain valves, and other water heater components.

In addition to the Ashland City facility, State Industries has plants in Franklin and Cookeville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C., and employs approximately 2,200 people.

"This acquisition would nearly double the size of A.O. Smith's water heating business and would expand the breadth and depth of our product line," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert J. O'Toole said in making the announcement. "State's marketing efforts are well-balanced, with a strong presence in the retail, wholesale, OEM home construction, and specialty market channels. A.O. Smith has an excellent presence in the wholesale channel that is complemented by State's positions in both retail as well as wholesale," O'Toole added.

The addition of the APCOM unit would enable A.O. Smith to enter the water heater component business for the first time. APCOM currently supplies components to four of the six largest North American water heater manufacturers.

A.O. Smith Water Products Company, headquartered in Irving, Texas, manufactures residential water heaters, standard and specialty commercial water heaters, copper tube boilers, pump tanks and expansion tanks. The company has facilities in McBee, S.C.; Renton, Wash.; El Paso, Texas; Florence, Ky.; Alsip, Ill.; Juarez, Mexico; Veldhoven, the Netherlands; Stratford, Ontario, Canada; and Nanjing, China and employs approximately 2,500 people world wide. Water Products Company reported record sales of $346 million in 2000.

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