The board of directors appoints Anthony A. Massaro as President, succeeding the retiring Frederick W. Mackenbach. On November 1, Mr. Massaro is named President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Hastings remains as Chairman until May, 1997.
A multi-million dollar expansion and update of domestic research and development facilities is approved by the board. Expansion activities include an acquisition of Electronic Welding Systems (EWS) in Italy, a planned joint venture in China and a manufacturing joint venture in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Lincoln Electric Board of Directors announces the appointment of Anthony A. Massaro as chairman of the company, making him the sixth chairman to lead this 102-year-old world leader in the arc welding industry. At the American Welding Society tradeshow in April, the company introduces many products resulting from an exciting new product development process.
Lincoln Electric is committed to building consistent growth in markets around the world and providing substantial value to all of its stakeholders.
1998 was a year of expansion, acquisition and product development for Lincoln Electric. In the global arena, Lincoln Electric opened an electrode plant in Shanghai, China and acquired Uhrhan & Schwill, of Essen, Germany, a market-leading designer and installer of pipe welding systems for pipe mills. In addition, Lincoln Electric secured its own aluminum wire capability and brand through acquisition of Canadian company, Indalco, a global leader in manufacture of aluminum wire and rod. In other global happenings, Lincoln Electric secured a 50% stake in AS Kaynak, a leading Turkish producer of welding consumables and opened a distribution center in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Products abounded with more than 23 new products and services introduced to the market in 1998, including ArcLink™ the arc welding industry’s first communications protocol, at the annual American Welding Society Exposition.
In 1998, Lincoln Electric also distributed its 65th consecutive bonus to employees and achieved the fifth consecutive year of record financial performance. In investor news, shareholders approved the formation of a holding company, Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. With this transition came a conversion from dual class stock (voting and non-voting) to a single-class, all voting stock. This action doubled the number of outstanding shares.
In January of 1999, Lincoln Electric established a majority-held, joint venture electrode plant in the Philippines with distributor partners. During the American Welding Society's International Welding and Fabricating Exposition in St. Louis, Lincoln unveiled some never-before-seen products including the Multi-Weld™ system, designed for welding large structures, and the Power MIG™: The Professional Choice, 255 combination wire feeder/welder. Lincoln Electric also debuted a host of new electrodes including SuperArc® and SuperGlide® premium MIG wires, SuperGlaze® aluminum welding wire and Excalibur™ 7018 low hydrogen electrodes.
Also in 1999, the company completed the sale of its motor business to the Marathon Division of Regal-Beloit, preserving Guaranteed Employment Policy through the process.
Lincoln Electric acquires C.I.F.E. Spa, an Italian manufacturer of welding consumables and Europe’s premier producer of MIG wire. Acquisition solidifies the Company’s position as a leader in the European welding consumables business. Production begins in Lincoln’s new manufacturing facility in Brazil.
The Company expands its operations in South America with the acquisition of Messer Soldaduras de Venezuela, the country’s leading manufacturer of consumable welding products. The David C. Lincoln Technology Center is completed, ensuring Lincoln Electric’s leadership position in product development.
The acquisition of Bester S.A., a welding equipment manufacturer based in Poland, drives the Company’s growth in Eastern Europe. The Company forms Lincoln Electric Welding, Cutting, Tools and Accessories, Inc., dedicated to growing the retail channel.
Lincoln Electric complements its successful line of retail products with the acquisition of the Century and Marquette welding and battery charger brands, which have leading positions in the automotive aftermarket and retail channels.
Acquisitions of controlling interests in three welding businesses in China are completed, giving Lincoln Electric a leading share of that growing market. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans visits Lincoln Electric’s Cleveland headquarters, citing the Company as a prime example of America’s manufacturing strength. John M. Stropki is named Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, becoming only the seventh Chairman in the Company’s history.
Lincoln Electric acquires J.W. Harris Co., a global leader in brazing and soldering alloys, to broaden the Company’s solutions capabilities and complement its core product lines. Lincoln leads the welding industry in achieving ISO 14001 certification, the environmental standard.
The acquisition of Metrode Products Limited, a UK-based manufacturer of nickel-based cored wire and stick electrode consumables, expands the Company’s offering of specialty consumables for the process and power generation industries.
Lincoln Electric earns the President’s “E-Star” Award for its excellent exports program.
Lincoln Electric invests in expanding its global manufacturing footprint, the largest undertaking in its history, constructing or upgrading 10 plants throughout the world.
The acquisition of Vernon Tool Company, a manufacturer of computer-controlled pipe cutting equipment, expands Lincoln’s automation solutions, while acquisitions in China and Poland further enhance the Company’s global market position.