Bodycote plc, a British thermal-processing network with operations worldwide, is buying the heat-treating business of Curtiss-Wright Corp. for $52 million. CEO Stephen Harris said the new assets “fit well with Bodycote’s automotive and general industrial network, enhancing service to existing customers and extending our geographic coverage.”

The purchase will be made by a combination of cash and new debt, though Bodycote did not detail the specific terms, stating only that it expects the acquisition’s value to exceed Bodycote’s capital cost, and that the new operations should enhance the corporations’ earning in the first year.

Bodycote describes itself as the world’s largest provider of thermal processing services, with 170 operations in 27 countries. Its capabilities include heat-treating, metal joining, surface treatment, and hot isostatic pressing.

Curtiss-Wright is a manufacturing conglomerate with holdings in flow control, motion control, metal treatment, defense, commercial aerospace, power generation, oil-and-gas, and general industry segments. The heat-treating operations have been a part of its metal treatment unit, and posted 2012 earnings of $7.7 million on sales of $36.5 million.

Chairman and CEO Martin R. Benante said the sale of the division allows the company "to focus on its core metal treatment businesses. Technical services such as shot- and laser-peening, specialty coatings, and materials testing are highly complementary to the engineered product solutions that Curtiss-Wright is well known for in the industry."

Curtiss-Wright’s nine heat-treating locations include three operations in Wichita, KS, that serve aerospace industry manufacturers, and another in Lafayette, LA, that serves the oil-and-gas sector. Bodycote said the business’s accounts in aerospace and oil-and-gas sectors represent 34% of sales. Five other locations reportedly match Bodycote’s automotive (20% of sales) and general industrial sector capabilities.

Bodycote’s Harris stated: “We are delighted to be acquiring this heat treatment business, which fits extremely well with our existing organization and our overall strategy. Adding these nine sites to Bodycote’s existing 35 US plants provides significant additional capability and a broader customer base in key regions.