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Sumitomo Eyeing U.S. Onshore Growth in Takeover of OCTG Supplier Champions

Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. has set its cap to buy Houston-based Champions Cinco Pipe & Supply LLC, whose global oilfield business provides equipment to U.S. onshore customers.

Subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA), based in New York City, plans to acquire all of the shares of Champions, a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. (USA) Inc., to enhance its position in the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) industry.

No financial details were disclosed.

“The U.S. is the world's largest OCTG market and is expected to grow further with the development of shale,” Sumitomo said.

Privately held Champions, established in 1979, is a worldwide distributor for casing and tubing, drill pipe and line pipe. It has offices across Texas in Dallas, Midland and San Antonio, as well as in Oklahoma.

Sumitomo noted that most of Champions customers are independent U.S. oil and gas companies.

“The Sumitomo Corporation Group has established a robust value chain covering steel pipe manufacturing, processing and distribution networks,” and by acquiring Champions, the company would strengthen its offerings, it said.

SCOA provides OCTG, including line pipe and specialty tubular products. Parent Sumitomo Corp., based in Japan, has offices in 66 countries.

Sumitomo has its hand in other U.S. energy businesses. Among other things, it has a 20-year agreement to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG LP in Maryland, which is poised to begin overseas shipments.

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