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ESCO Corp, One of Oregon’s Oldest and Largest Companies, Will Be Acquired by U.K. Competitor

Century-old manufacturer owns Northwest Portland property that MLB group wants to buy for potential baseball stadium site.

As news of  efforts to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Portland emerges, backers of the project earlier this week announced their interest in acquiring the site of a former ESCO Corp. steel plant in Northwest Portland.

That possibility grew more complicated overnight as Weir Group, a Scottish manufacturer, announced a $1.29 billion purchase of ESCO, a privately held company founded in Portland in 1913.

ESCO makes mining and other heavy industrial equipment at 70 locations in 20 countries, according to the company's website. It closed a massive Northwest Portland foundry in 2016, creating a potential 15-acre development site between Northwest Vaughan Street and the Willamette River.

Bloomberg News first reported the proposed acquisition.

Craig Cheek, a retired Nike executive leading the Portland Diamond Project, the effort to bring MLB to Portland, tells WW his group will continue to pursue a purchase offer it previously presented to ESCO.

"The offer made to ESCO for the property has not changed with the sale," says Cheek says.