FULL OF SCRAP ‘If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch’

Nov 01, 2007 | 09:42 AM |

Not too many years ago, I received a decorative license plate holder as a birthday gift. It bore a picture of an old hound and the words "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." Perhaps it was a critique of my feeble attempt to recapture my youth by jogging. The plate is gone, as is my wish to stay in shape by running. Shin splints and exhaust fumes killed that.

But the admonition about keeping up with the big dogs has stayed, tucked away in a back pocket of my memory. It came to mind a few weeks ago after Metal Management Inc. (MMI) and Sims Group Ltd. announced their plan to partner up and become the big dog in the scrap industry—not just here in the United States, but around the world. By their own estimates, together they will be handling some 15 million tons of scrap metals a year, including 1 billion pounds of nonferrous (or roughly 500,000 tonnes of copper, brass, aluminum and other metals).

Michael MarleyThe announcement in mid-September startled many in the U.S. scrap industry. Sims does not have nearly as many Australian rivals to be shocked and awed by the deal, although there was a measure of chauvinistic hand wringing in the Australian press over the shift of management to U.S. shores. The combined company will still be "domiciled" in Sydney, its shares traded on the Australian Stock Exchange (with American Depositary Receipts available to those in the United States that want to own a piece of the combined company), but day-to-day operations will be run from offices in New York.....

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