Woodlawn Manufacturing is an integrated high volume, precision manufacturer of metal parts and assemblies for the defense, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive, HVAC and other industries. The company is a first- and second-tier supplier to the United States military, producing rocket warhead bodies, countermeasure flare cases and other ammunition. Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Marshall, Texas, Woodlawn is the sole-source supplier for the Hydra-70 warhead bodies and a major supplier for flare cases.
Woodlawn Manufacturing can trace its history to Harvey Clanton. He was a former employee of Thiokol Corporation, which operated the government-owned company-operated Longhorn Army ammunition plant outside Marshall. Harvey left in 1973 to acquire a machine shop to bid on metal parts contracts for his former employer. Thus, Woodlawn was founded.
He sold the company in 1989, which had been averaging $5 million in annual sales, to an investment group. Paul White joined the purchasing group by initiating a startup of an abrasive manufacturing company in Houston that moved to Marshall in 1990. In 1992, the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant, which comprised the majority of the company sales, was closed as a result of the Cold War end and an accompanying decrease in defense spending. At this point, the investment group requested that Paul develop and implement a business plan for Woodlawn. In 1995, he was named Chief Executive Officer, managing both the metal parts and abrasives businesses.
The companies hit a roadblock in funding growth in 1997. As a result, Paul structured a buyout of Woodlawn Abrasives and Woodlawn Manufacturing with Finova Capital (the incumbent lender) as a partner. In November 1999, Black& Decker acquired the abrasives unit. This divestiture assisted Paul in removing Finova as a partner and in creating the liquidity needed to support the growth of the ammunition market.
Woodlawn was sold to Lone Star Investment Advisors CRA Fund in 2008.