Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Webco Industries Postpones Its Sand Springs Expansion Plans

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Webco Industries Postpones Its Sand Springs Expansion Plans

Article excerpt

Webco Industries has joined the list of companies with expansion projects sidelined under the nation's tightened credit markets.

"Whether it's the financial markets or anything else, it's not a good time to jump out there," Chief Financial Officer Mike Howard said Wednesday.

When Sand Springs-based Webco announced a double-helping of earnings on Oct. 7, the tubular steel manufacturer said it was seeking financing for an undisclosed expansion project. Webco Chairman and Chief Executive F. William Weber said his company intended to expand its Sand Springs manufacturing capacity, capabilities and quality.

Outside of its postponement, Howard refused to elaborate on that effort Wednesday, saying it would be inappropriate to discuss unfinished corporate plans.

"We are constantly under evaluation," said Howard. "It may be something we'll evaluate more significantly in the future."

Real estate market analyst Darrin Currin expressed surprise at that turn.

"I had been told that business loans to buy or expand a building were still easier to obtain," said Currin, vice president and research director for OKC Property Research LLC. "That's still considered more of a business loan than a real estate loan.

"If this is a new trend, then, oh boy, that could really take a hit on our industrial or office sales because about 75 percent of all industrial deals we've seen in Oklahoma City and Tulsa have been owners buying buildings for their own use," said Currin. "If we see banks cutting back on those types of loans, then we could see a significant decline in both industrial and office loans."

Besides its Sand Springs corporate headquarters, Webco operates:

- Its original Southwest Tube operations at 201 S. Woodland Dr. in that western Tulsa suburb, where it makes welded carbon steel boiler and heat exchanger tubing, among other items.

- Its Structural Tube Division at 8911 W. …

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