Gerdau offloads Chilean operations

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Gerdau agreed to sell 100% of its operations in Chile to two local companies for US$154mn, in a move aimed at helping the Brazilian steel group reduce debt and improve profitability.

In a filing late on Wednesday, Gerdau said the assets divested comprise its long steel industrial units with combined steel production capacity of 520,000t/y.

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"The consummation of the transaction is pending approval by the Chilean antitrust authority," Gerdau said.

The group acquiring Gerdau's assets in Chile is made up of MATCO Cables, and Ingeniería e Inversiones, each with a 45% share.

The former general managers of Gerdau Chile, Hermann von Mühlenbrock (5%) and Italo Ozzano (5%), acquired the remaining stake, according to a report from Chilean news site El Mostrador.

Gerdau Chile, founded in 1953 under the name Industrias Metalúrgicas AZA, produces and supplies steel bars for concrete and steel profiles, an industrial process in which only recycled steel scrap is used. The company is Chile's main steel scrap recycler, the report said.

Gerdau's Chilean operations were part of the company's South America division. In 2Q17, the division's net sales fell 20% to 968mn reais (US$310mn), the cost of goods sold decreased 17.2% to 849mn reais, and revenue from exports totaled 441mn, down 17.1% year-on-year.

Porto Alegre-based Gerdau is the largest long-steel producer in the Americas.