PITTSBURGH A reported
four of the five traders in the pipe and tube department of
trading house Coutinho & Ferrostaal Inc. have left the
company, according to a number of well-placed sources familiar
with the departures.
The companys president and
chief executive officer, Hernan Guajardo, declined to confirm
or comment on the reported moves. According to a number of
sources, however, four members of the companys
five-person pipe and tube trading team in Houston left the firm
on May 7. It was not immediately clear whether Coutinho &
Ferrostaal had named replacements.
Sources said the former Coutinho
& Ferrostaal traders already have plans to re-enter the
steel importing space through the backing of an unnamed
European trading house.
The traders reported exit
comes on the heels of a major management shift at the
The trading house, a subsidiary
of Coutinho & Ferrostaal GmbH, came under the ownership of
Grupo Villacero SA de CV in March 2012. The Monterrey,
Mexico-based service center group previously held a one-third
stake in the German trader but decided to acquire the other
two-thirds to expand its global footprint (
amm.com, March 9, 2012).
A number of management changes
occurred shortly after the acquisition, including the departure
of the German parent companys former chief executive
officer and president, Enrique Gasca, as well as John D.
Foster, the Houston subsidiarys former chief executive
officer and president (
amm.com, July 30). The company then made a number
of internal and organization changes, including naming Guajardo
to his current role (
amm.com, July 31).
A spokesman for Grupo Villacero
did not respond to a request for comment.
Importing many steel products
has been particularly difficult in recent years due to the
narrowing of a spread between domestic and foreign prices,
trader sources have told AMM. However, the pipe and
tube sector has remained somewhat resilient due to the strong
energy industry, particularly in the major steel trading hub of