Execs say mergers won’t fix steel overcapacity

Jun 19, 2013 | 04:22 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  mergers, steel, steel overcapacity, Andre Gerdau Johannpeter, Gerdau, Thomas Veraszto, Severstal, John Lichtenstein Accenture

NEW YORK — Global steel production overcapacity will remain a problem until population growth spurs demand, panelists said June 18 at the Steel Success Strategies XXVIII conference in New York.

More steel company mergers could trim capacity, Gerdau SA chief executive officer Andre Gerdau Johannpeter said.

But other panelists at the event, sponsored by AMM and Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,-based World Steel Dynamics Inc., disagreed.

"In the last 20 years, restructuring (has been) the issue," according to Thomas Veraszto, senior vice president of corporate development at OAO Severstal. "It’s not that easy to close a blast furnace. We saw a lot of mergers not creating value."John Lichtenstein, managing director of Accenture’s global metals industry practice, agreed that mergers likely wouldn’t impact capacity, citing China’s Heibei Iron & Steel Group Co. Ltd. "There was little capacity elimination with that merger. It was consolidation only on paper," he said.....

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