AGY Shanghai Customer Open Day

October 5th, 2009 · 2:11 pm @   -  6 Comments
WalnutShellIN A NUTSHELL: AGY held a Global Customer Open Day for its AGY Shanghai Technology Company on 09/01/09.

On September 1, 2009, I turned 47 years old.  Not a  particularly relevant milestone, other than I have realized that statistically I am probably past the midpoint of my stay on this planet.  So I guess I  better get busy and accomplish all the life goals still on my list.  On September 1, 2009, AGY also held a Customer Open Day for our new facility, AGY Shanghai Technology, Co. Ltd.  This event was memorable for me on several fronts.

I began working on AGY’s acquisition of Grace’s  Shanghai Grace Technologies business in December of 2007.  While both parties were very willing and the deal made great since for both companies, as is normal, there is always the normal “Valuation Gap” between the Buyer’s perspective and the Seller’s perspective.  What started out as a normal gap, became a chasm over the following 18 months as the global economic downturn took it’s toll on the performance of the target and the liquidity of the purchaser.  This deal evolved and morphed into several totally different structures throughout the process, which included more than a couple of “walk away” events.  The process also involved many many trips to China and Taiwan for myself  as well as the privilege of sleeping 152 nights in 2008 in the Pudong Courtyard Marriott.  Needless to say, when we finally closed the transaction on June 10, 2009, I felt great accomplishment and relief.

While the facility we purchased was already world class in terms of assets and organization, we are working hard to transfer AGY technology for fine and ultra-fine yarns to the production processes in Shanghai.  To this end, we have had a team of people embedded in  Shanghai since early 2009 working on the technology upgrade.  Because the business we bought is co-located on a campus with Shanghai Grace Fabrics (an existing large AGY customer), we have also been working hard  on cutting all the organizational cords between the Fabrics business (our customer and the competitor of most of our other customers)  and the Yarns business (which we purchased).  AGY prides itself on being the leading global independent yarn maker in a largely  integrated industry, and making it crystal clear to all of our customers that we are 100% separate from the Grace Fabrics business has been a critical initiative.

On September 1, before the China Composites Show, we personally  invited the press and a number of global current and potential customers to tour our facility.  We hosted customers from China, Taiwan, Japan, US and Europe.  We wanted to give them  a chance to see first hand the technology, operational discipline, and quality mindset present in our world class AGY Shanghai operations.    I gave a brief presentation, then we took a tour of the operations, and then we treated them to dinner aboard a HuangPu River cruise (and the weather cooperated with beautiful views and comfortable weather).  All customers had a great time, and we generated significant interest in purchasing from the facility.

I cannot begin to tell you the pride I felt throughout this entire event.  Seeing the assets branded with AGY’s corporate identity, seeing the enthusiasm and engagement from our newest AGY employees, and seeing the favorable impressions of our global customers really filled me with pride and accomplishment.  Something that took so long to negotiate and which several times seemed like it would never be completed, had finally been consummated.  I could see the tangible output of my perseverance and involvement, which left me with a great deal of satisfaction.

Thanks to all AGY customers for your business and for making our Customer Open Day a success!!

AGY Shanghai Technology Co.

AGY Shanghai Technology Co.

Jeffrey J Davis Giving A Customer Welcome Presentation

Jeffrey J Davis Giving A Customer Welcome Presentation

Customers in the AGY Shanghai Auditorium

Customers in the AGY Shanghai Auditorium

Kawai-san and Rober Tsai from Asahi Schweibel Taiwan In Our Glass Analysis Lab

Kawai-san and Rober Tsai from Asahi Schweibel Taiwan In Our Glass Analysis Lab

Customers Touring Our Forming Tunnel

Customers Touring Our Forming Tunnel

Customers in Our Fabrication (Twist Frame) Area

Customers in Our Fabrication (Twist Frame) Area

I almost cried when I saw these flags blowing on the wind on the dinner cruise.

I almost cried when I saw these flags blowing on the wind on the dinner cruise.

Traditional ErHu and Pipa music to accompany dinner on the boat

Traditional ErHu and Pipa music to accompany dinner on the boat

Orient Pearl as viewed from the boat

Orient Pearl as viewed from the boat

AGY CustomerS: Thank You For Your Business!!

AGY CustomerS: Thank You For Your Business!!

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6 Comments → “AGY Shanghai Customer Open Day”


  1. lesgoff

    8 years ago

    Jeff, Congrats! I know how things can take time and as you know no deal is done until it is done and sometimes it is still not done! Best of luck to you and your team and as you also know now the work really begins!


  2. FL

    8 years ago

    I guess I got a flavor of the deal process by catching up with you once a while in Shanghai. As a guy we look up to, you felt the frustration, relief and pride pretty much the same way as we do, that's somehow encouraging. Even I haven't figured out how to get around in twitter, but still follow your footprint looking for answers.


  3. JeffreyJDavis

    8 years ago

    Thanks Les for stopping by and for your comment. Yes this deal seemed several times as if it never would get done, so I was happy for it to finally get consummated. You are right, now we get to see how all those carefully structured contract language clauses actually play out in real life!! We are working hard now to transfer technology and upgrade business processes, but that's the fun kind of work.


  4. JeffreyJDavis

    8 years ago

    Thanks Frankie. Yes, it's easy to get frustrated when things seem like they are not going well, and i'm sorry if you could feel that sometimes. As leaders, it is important for us to always realize that our energy can be contagious on others, either positively or negatively. If I learned one thing from this transaction, it was to never give up even when it seems like there is no way to succeed!


  5. JeffreyJDavis

    8 years ago

    Thanks Les for stopping by and for your comment. Yes this deal seemed several times as if it never would get done, so I was happy for it to finally get consummated. You are right, now we get to see how all those carefully structured contract language clauses actually play out in real life!! We are working hard now to transfer technology and upgrade business processes, but that's the fun kind of work.


  6. JeffreyJDavis

    8 years ago

    Thanks Frankie. Yes, it's easy to get frustrated when things seem like they are not going well, and i'm sorry if you could feel that sometimes. As leaders, it is important for us to always realize that our energy can be contagious on others, either positively or negatively. If I learned one thing from this transaction, it was to never give up even when it seems like there is no way to succeed!


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