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Aperam to consider stainless steel mergers - CEO

Steel News - Published on Sun, 20 Feb 2011

Bloomberg reported that Aperam, the stainless steel producer spun off by ArcelorMittal, would consider mergers in an industry that\'s beset by overcapacity and surging costs.

Mr Bernard Fontana CEO of Aperam said that \"We are open to change. There are things we can do by ourselves and they deserve to be done, and if an opportunity comes, then we are open.\"

He added that \"There were many talks in the past to build a stronger player with better utilization in Europe but they were not successful. The spin off may make it easier, in case it may happen, because people get a better understanding of the operations.\"

According to Mr Fontana, European stainless steel producers used about 70% of their capacity in 2010.

Mr Fontana said that Aperam sees stainless demand growth of about 6% a year in the medium term, with emerging markets averaging 7% to 8% and Europe about 3% to 4%.

He said “The potential for demand growth is greater in stainless than carbon steel with consumption likely to return to levels seen before the global economic slump by 2013 or 2014.

The spin off of Aperam followed years of talks among Europe\'s steelmakers on merging their stainless operations that came to nothing.

According to Nomura Holdings Inc., Spain\'s Acerinox SA was Europe\'s largest producer of the alloy in 2009, followed by Aperam. Outokumpu Oyj, a Finnish maker of stainless steel, said this month the industry would benefit from combining assets.

Mr Jeffrey Largey, a Nomura analyst, wrote that \"The spin off of Aperam refocuses attention on an unloved sector and helps to ultimately set the stage for consolidation within the European stainless sector and the creation of a market stabilizing pan European stainless leader.\"

(Sourced from www.bloomberg.net)

Posted By : admin on Sun, 20 Feb 2011
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