Latin American steelmakers swept up in merger and acquisition frenzy

Dec 26, 2006 | 02:58 PM | Diana Kinch

This year was one of intense merger and consolidation activity in which Latin American steelmakers firmed their presence on the world steel scene, strengthened by a backdrop of new slab-for-export projects and rapidly increasing iron ore production in the region.

Brazilian steelmakers remained at the forefront of attentions. Grupo Gerdau SA, Porto Alegre, Brazil, notched up a rapid succession of purchases, including a 40-percent stake in Corporacion Sidenor SA, Vitoria, Spain; Sheffield Steel Corp., Sand Springs, Okla.; and Empresa Siderúrgica del Perú SAA (Siderperú), Lima, Peru. The company was also eyeing Acerías Paz del Rio SA, Bogota, Colombia, and Aceros Bragado SA, Buenos Aires, Argentina, at year-end.

Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN), Rio de Janeiro, attempted a tie-up with Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., Wheeling, W.Va., but was defeated by Chicago-based distributor Esmark Inc. The Brazilian company then proceeded with two flamboyant bids for Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus Group Plc, vying with Tata Steel Ltd., Mumbai, India.....

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