Steel distribution chiefs eye acquisitions for 2010

Dec 14, 2009 | 11:13 AM | Corinna Petry

A handful of steel distribution executives foresee that as the economy begins its slow recovery, opportunities to acquire companies, expand product lines or capabilities and grow market share are likely to improve next year.

"We are being aggressive in growing our business, and we think this is the time to try to grab some new business," said Stephen Makarewicz, chief executive officer of Ryerson Inc., Chicago, which opened three new locations this year: Salt Lake City, Columbus, Ohio, and McAllen, Texas. "We continue to look at where we could have more penetration," he said.

"We also are pursuing acquisitions. The problem is the expectation of what the seller thinks the business is worth. We've had trouble closing deals (but) acquisitions are definitely on our radar screen," Makarewicz said. "We are looking at Mexico and China, and are expanding product lines as well. We are mostly flat-roll but we are trying to get more involved in long products and fabrication."....

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