Timken Steel: A Story as Strong as Steel
After a shareholder vote at the 2013 annual meeting of The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR) indicated support for the separation of the company’s two businesses – bearings and steel – Timken’s Board of Directors reviewed the company’s alternatives and decided the best strategy was to spin off the steel business. As a result, on June 30, 2014, TimkenSteel (NYSE: TMST) was formed as a new public company – a “100-year-old start-up” – while the bearings business remained under the original Timken Company name. In the months prior to the spin-off, TimkenSteel had to establish a new, independent identity, craft key messaging that would tell its story to investors and other stakeholders, and create its own corporate communications infrastructure.
Since no prior plans existed specifically for the steel business, TimkenSteel turned to Dix & Eaton to create a 2014 communications plan, establish a social media program and write a crisis communications manual. We provided investor relations training to TimkenSteel’s communications department and top executives, and we helped craft the company’s presentations and road show strategy to tell its story to investors and analysts. We also developed a media policy and coordinated media coverage, including interviews and facility tours. Once the company’s intranet was set up, Dix & Eaton managed the news portal, creating a thought-leadership strategy and posting daily news updates on the business, industry and customers. When the company was set to launch its new website, we provided support for that process, too.
TimkenSteel was able to establish investor relations and communications functions in a matter of months and successfully launched itself as a new public company. Internal employee and external stakeholder response to the branding and website has been extremely positive. Social media participation has been strong, and the social media activity report shows above-average engagement scores for a young company. Media coverage included an interview between company CEO Tim Timken and Mad Money’s Jim Cramer on the day TimkenSteel went public. Additionally, a lengthy New York Times article by Nelson Schwartz was published December 6, 2014. Other significant media outlets covering TimkenSteel included The Wall Street Journal, The Street, Fox Business and Yahoo! Finance.