SIGMA 3.0

August 2, 2017

From : Siddharth Bhattacharji & Victor Pais

On behalf of Siddharth and myself, I am glad and grateful to announce that, through an investment
group we put together including Larry Rybacki, our longtime friend and partner, Mitchell Rona and Jeff Marcus, key senior SIGMA executives, a few other management members, a couple of long time business friends and most importantly, certain affiliates of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax) of Toronto, Canada, we have acquired the entire stock of SIGMA International Group, the parent company of SIGMA Corporation and related companies as of August 2, 2017.

Interestingly, it was almost ten years back that Frontenac Company of Chicago, IL had acquired
majority shareholding of SIGMA from the original shareholders that included us and several of the
key executives who are now new investors.

Over the challenging years under their ownership, including the severe financial crisis and the
ensuing market downturn, Frontenac provided sound support and guidance in any and all ways. And
after almost ten years, they decided to initiate a succession in keeping with their investment
norms.

As we both had continued to be close to SIGMA, we identified it as an opportunity – as a sound
investment, but also to head off uncertainty any new ownership change entails and instead, to make
a ‘fresh start’ to revive the dynamic, entrepreneurial and growth driven team ethos that marked our
management.

Armed with a pragmatic ‘blueprint’ for long term growth, we approached Fairfax, a stellar
investment company, with proven commitment to sound and steady long term growth and healthy return on investments. Founded and led by a widely respected and internationally known visionary leader, Prem Watsa, Fairfax has grown from strength to strength over its 32 years since inception, as a value investor leveraging their vast resources from their growing core insurance business. Prem has guided Fairfax from its modest start in Canada to its current robust global stature, on the
strength of a set of ‘guiding principles’ he set out from the start and consistently followed —
such as sound financial management, long term value creation, decentralized management culture,
spirit of sharing and equally, having fun – at work! Incidentally, these were the very same values
we built SIGMA on,too…

I have been blessed to have enjoyed a close and trusting friendship with Prem that has thrived for
over 50 years, going all the way back to our years together at IIT-Chennai, a top engineering
institution, then and now. With experienced founders and a strong, reputed financial partner like
Fairfax, Frontenac welcomed our proposal favorably and in a relatively short time, we concluded a
transaction all stakeholders feel positive about.

Siddharth and I are humbled and honored, yet excited too – to have an opportunity to lead SIGMA
again, which has a loyal, experienced and market savvy team. Together again, we will strive to
build on the well- recognized SIGMA customer service, with new products, services and systems,
responding to the ‘voice of the customer’, to be a growing ‘value supplier’, while also bringing in
some newly developed synergies, from our other businesses in Waterworks and related industries.

Jim McGivern, the CEO for the last 8 years will also continue his association with SIGMA, albeit in
a non- executive but formal advisory capacity. He will assist SIGMA to identify and nurture any
strategic growth opportunities.

While Fairfax will be a great partner, to mentor and guide us with their proven financial and
governance acumen, their established philosophy is to extend complete autonomy to the new SIGMA team.

SIGMA going strong after 32 years…Siddharth and I celebrating our 40 years as partners and 27 years with Larry…Prem and I sharing a close friendship for 50 years…Durability and Long term are
certainly in our DNA!

We look forward to an enjoyable and rewarding journey…that we call SIGMA 3 .0 ……

New Installation Videos

The latest training videos starring SIGMA’s Director of Engineering Stuart Box and Engineering Assistant Lori Grant-Peters have launched.

The three new videos follow on the success of the pilot program that SIGMA produced internally and launched last October. The new series was produced by PowerDesign, a professional media services consultancy.

The new training videos include:

The training videos are available on our website http://www.sigmaco.com/videos/.

These videos will become part of the SIGMA University Professional Training Curriculum, and will also be offered as a resource for customers, distributors and contractors.

Cutting Edge Industry Trend: SIGMA Produces Irrigation Meter Boxes

SIGMA is one of the first HDPE manufacturers to supply meter enclosures for non-potable water. As droughts spread and water becomes increasingly scarce, this practice is expected to become more common in municipalities in the US and beyond.  Lehi City, UT became one of the first municipalities to meter non-potable water, and they approached SIGMA to supply the meter boxes.

The meter boxes had to be purple, which signifies non-potable water, and SIGMA was able to source purple resin and blend it appropriately to meet this requirement.

Two prototypes were sent for inspection and SIGMA worked with the engineers to have the product specified. SIGMA’s purple meter boxes have now been approved for specification in Lehi City. The first box was placed at the Mayor’s home, and SIGMA HDPE Product Specialist Don Henderson was on hand for the installation.  He comments, “Lehi City is on the forefront of this water management trend. Metering water for irrigation, landscaping, golf courses, cemeteries, and lawns is likely to become the norm. SIGMA is in a strong position to meet this growing market need.”

For information about this and other SIGMA HDPE products, please contact HDPEsolutions@sigmaco.com

Strong Showing at AWWA Show

The SIGMA contingent was out in force at this year’s show. With the Company’s headquarters in nearby Cream Ridge, NJ, Philadelphia offered a home field advantage.

To help our guests stay cool in the steamy June temps, SIGMA partnered with Philadelphia-based Bassett’s, Americas oldest Ice Cream Company, to create “SIGMA Swirl” ice cream. Our booth visitors enjoyed cooling off with our signature flavor in Bassett’s Ice Cream Shop, located in historic Reading Terminal Market, adjacent to the Convention Center.

With over 12,000 waterworks professionals in attendance, the show presented an excellent opportunity to connect with customers, industry friends and partners.  SIGMA is already looking forward to ACE18 in Las Vegas.

SIGMA Proudly Announces the Launch of 54” & 60” Wedge-Action and Bell Harness Restraint for AWWA C905 PVC Pipe

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact Steve McDonald smd@sigmaco.com or 609 668 1053

SIGMA Proudly Announces the Launch of 54” & 60” Wedge-Action and Bell Harness Restraint for AWWA C905 PVC Pipe

Please visit exhibit booth #2611 at ACE17 to view the 54” Harness Restraint and Wedge Action Restraint on PVC Pipe!

As a company that is dedicated to waterworks industry innovation, SIGMA is pleased to introduce the first 54” and 60” wedge and bell restraint for AWWA C905 PVC pressure pipes.  SIGMA’s leadership in developing these new nominally-sized restraints is expected to address the engineering challenges faced by municipalities and consulting firms for these pipeline applications.

SIGMA’s Restrained Joint Product Manager Steve McDonald explains: “The inception of sizes 54 and 60-inch restraint brings a solution for preventing PVC pipe joint separation that is common in pressure pipe applications.  External concrete thrust blocks for these new pipe sizes are massive obstructions for future infrastructure needs and a potential problem for other utility services nearby. Our mechanical approach using time-proven technology is a working component of the pipeline itself and provides a reliable, long-term solution to maintaining the integrity of every joint within the pipeline.”

In addition to the water and wastewater potential, this innovation is expected to have a positive impact on this size PVC pipe being used in future irrigation designs.

Dennis Bauer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Diamond Plastics comments, ”We have seen a significant expansion of interest in large diameter PVC and having the folks at SIGMA make the investment in 54” & 60” restraint will have a very positive impact on the options available to water and sewer design professionals across North America. We appreciate their commitment to the industry.”

Please direct all future inquiries for availability through your local SIGMA contact or Steve McDonald at smd@sigmaco.com or (609) 668-1053.

HDPE Roto-Molder Fully Operational

SIGMA is pleased to announce the successful launch of the new High Density Polyethylene Manufacturing Facility in our Alexander City, AL location.   The new roto-molder is now fully operational, and the team in Alexander City has hit the ground running.

Operations Manager, HDPE Manufacturing and OEM, Jessica Johnson describes the process:  “After we acquired Raven it became clear that we were going to expand our HDPE capacity by building a facility in Alabama.  So Neil Cook, our Manufacturing Supervisor, and I spent time in the Raven plant in Idaho to learn the process first hand.  We developed a strong working relationship with the team there. I consider us ‘the HDPE family.’  We then came home, trained our team, and we are getting more proficient each day.”

The process is complex, but the employees have learned quickly. Jessica continues, “Our success rates with the molds are between 93-95% so we are pleased with that. If a product comes out of the oven or the cooler and does not meet specification, we scrap it, but that is rare. So far, things have gone very smoothly.”

CEO Jim McGivern comments, “The SIGMA Manufacturing Team has executed on a very important plan on time and on budget. The new manufacturing capability at Alabama sets the basis for exciting growth and opportunities for the whole of SIGMA.”

The new equipment is running two shifts a day, six days a week, so there is clear demand for this product line.   Customers are well served; they know they can count on SIGMA’s quality, logistics and service networks, and now they can rely on SIGMA for domestically manufactured HDPE products.

For information on SIGMA’s HDPE product line, please contact Jeff Fox at JF1@sigmaco.com

HYDROTEC Installed at Blister Berg Auto Race Track

With race cars that average 137 km/hour, the Blister Berg Drive Resort and Club in Bad Driburg, Germany required a reliable drainage system around the tracks.  A properly drained, dry road surface is crucial to ensuring optimal driver safety and automobile performance.  The Blister Berg facility is used for recreational driving and racing by club members, as well as for research and development by the automotive industry.  A dry track was a high priority.

Formula 1 architect Hermann Tilke led the planning and construction of the facility, and he sought a high quality, reliable, state of the art drainage system. Several options were considered, and ultimately Tilke selected HYDROTEC Maxi F1 channels and manhole covers.

The narrow curves of the track presented an installation challenge, which HYDROTEC addressed with a thoughtful layout and mitre cuts in the channels.

The MAXI F1 was ideal for this application due to its modular design system, durable fiber reinforced concrete, and integrally cast ductile frames and ductile grates. Maxi F1 meets a load class F rating and performs well in projects requiring maximum resistance in load bearing applications.

For information on MAXI F1 and other trench drain systems, please contact trenchdrainsolutions@sigmaco.com

Industry Perspective: Global Sourcing in the Current Landscape

The current climate is defined by uncertainty. Our turbulent political situation makes the prospect of global sourcing especially daunting. Many companies have come to rely totally on global sourcing and are using an exclusive one-country approach. This practice may present a risk to their supply chains, business continuity, and ultimately, to their bottom lines.

Companies in this situation could be forced to pay higher prices on imports, or have an urgent need to seek alternative suppliers.  For this reason, it is strongly recommended to diversify sourcing.  While “re-shoring” is the buzzword of the moment, the reality is that there are simply not enough domestic producers of iron components to meet the demand at any price, particularly in the short term. Thus far, the primary targets of anti-import sentiment seem to be China and Mexico, so SIGMA OEM suggests diversifying your supply chain and considering sources in India.

SIGMA OEM practices what we preach; we did this very thing 15 years ago when it became clear that relying on one supplier in one country was a high risk proposition. We set up strategic supplier relationships in India to replicate the overall success we had experienced in China. As a result, SIGMA OEM has “boots on the ground” and an in-country presence to mitigate risk and protect our customers from any problems they may encounter when sourcing globally. While it is clear that challenges can always arise with this type of enterprise, SIGMA OEM’s infrastructure enables us to address issues efficiently and productively.  Most importantly, we insulate and protect the customer.

The recent launch of 3PL, SIGMA OEM’s wholly owned subsidiary in India, marks the culmination of 15 years of operations there. With a true local provider that operates under American business principals, SIGMA OEM removes the barriers to opening a new supply chain in a new country. Rather than requiring customers to find and develop their own relationships, SIGMA OEM has a turnkey operation, enabling us to deliver quality components with minimal risk and hassle.  SIGMA OEM is confident enough in our ability to deliver that we offer a one-year money back guarantee on tooling if duties or other factors impede the completion of a project.

With the industry–and the world–in its current state of flux, it is strategic to broaden supplier bases. What may start off as a prudent and defensive move for a segment of a business could wind up saving significant costs–and protecting the business as a whole.

New Year Message from the CEO

As 2017 begins, I envision an exciting and wide-ranging agenda for SIGMA in the coming year.  We have strategic plans for both internal and external improvements, which will enhance every aspect of our business.

Internally, we will continue to build on the Voice of the Customer Initiatives, which have accomplished much in terms of implementing best practices and system efficiencies.  The program, initially launched to provide a platform to address service related issues, has grown into a full-fledged business improvement plan.  In response to this evolution, we are changing the program’s name to “TEAM SIGMA,” and look forward to broadening the focus to include training, operations, personnel, and all business processes large and small.  It is my hope that TEAM SIGMA will touch every department and every person in our organization in 2017.

We are also making improvements to our physical assets.  The Cream Ridge, NJ headquarters underwent an upgrade in late 2016, which included a renovation and redecoration of the offices and common areas, and a full reconstruction of the showroom with all new product displays.  The Alexander City, AL location will begin a renovation early this year.  We will be expanding our manufacturing footprint and adding a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) fabrication facility.

Externally, SIGMA is in an extremely strong position.  Our product range is broader and deeper than ever.  With the 2016 acquisition of Raven, SIGMA now offers domestically produced HDPE meter boxes and other products.  Our large size restraints make us a leading supplier in that sector. We offer a wide range of OEM services, trench drain solutions, piping and plumbing products, and we still have the largest selection of fittings on the market. As a result, SIGMA has the ability to offer value added product to virtually any distributor in the US, Canada and beyond.

There has been much interest of late in the American Iron and Steel Act (AIS). SIGMA provides a wide range of both domestic and imported product, and we will continue to deliver a robust service response to the changing needs of our customers and the industry.  With over 30 years in the business, SIGMA will continue to grow with our customers in a broad portfolio of products both domestically produced and imported from world class foundries.

Happy New Year,

 

 

Jim McGivern
CEO