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Staff file photo / Ben Brown, founder and partner in the Chattanooga investment firm Alderman Enterprises

In its sixth business acquisition in as many years, the Chattanooga-based investment firm Alderman Enterprises is buying Micro Metals Inc. in Jamestown, Tennessee.

Micro Metals supplies iron- and copper-based conventional structural powder metal parts to the global automotive and other manufacturing markets. The company was established in 1976 by Carl R. Edwards, a 50-year veteran of the powder metallurgy industry, and his son Scott Edwards stepped down as CEO with the completion of the sale this week.

"Not only will [the Alderman Enterprises'] purchase of the Edwards' family business allow me to focus on other interests, more importantly, it will assure the continued growth and prosperity of Micro Metals for our customers, our employees, and the local community," Scott Edwards said in an announcement of the sale. "I'm more than confident the firm will maintain its preeminent position in the Powder Metal industry while continuing to be a valuable asset to Fentress County. Alderman's leadership combined with Micro's current, talented staff is a definite recipe for success."

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Micro Metals has continually grown over the past 35 years and currently has about 95 employees and occupies a 65,000-square-foot plant in Jamestown.

Ben Brown, founder and partner of Alderman Enterprises, said Micro Metals is "exactly what we look for in an Alderman business — a successful, well-run operation backed by a strong leadership team and talented employee base.

 "Powder metal manufacturing aligns well with Alderman's preference for companies with niche expertise that's difficult to replicate," Brown said. "This tends to create loyal, long-lasting customer relationships that produce steady revenue and profit. "

Brown said he hopes to expand Micro Metals beyond the automotive industry, which currently accounts for more than 90% of the company's sales.

"We see opportunity to capture more share in (the automotive) industry, especially as it adapts to an electric future," he said. "We also see other attractive end markets and will be pursing industry diversification as well. Having bought the property along with the business, and having significant expansion potential on the property, we can also foresee expanded facilities, new equipment, and a larger workforce in Micro Metals' future."

Located between Nashville and Knoxville, Micro Metals is near major transportation networks and within 24-hour delivery of 75 percent of the United States powder metallurgy market as well as global customers. Mark Ligon, who has been at Micro Metals for more than 31 years, is president of the company.

Alderman Enterprises, which is based in the Volunteer Building in downtown Chattanooga, invests in niche, profitable companies facing an ownership transition. Browns said Alderman holds its investments in the Southeast for the long term and takes a hands-on approach to growing companies.

-- Compiled by Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com

The companies at a glance

Alderman Enterprises

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: Chattanooga

Business: Privately owned investment firm

Holdings: Southeastern Tool & Design, Edwin Bohr Electronics, A1 Hevi-Lift Rentals, Dalrymple Rigging and Transport Inc., Combustion Control Systems Inc. and Micro Metals Inc.

Micro Metals

Founded: 1976

Location: Jamestown, Tennessee

Products: Manufacturer of power metal parts serving the automotive and other manufacturing industries

Ownership:

Established by Carl R. Edwards in Fentress County, the company is being sold to Alderman Enterprises

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