Friday 21st June 2019
The GFG Alliance’s success in acquiring the flagship wire rod producer KCI only months after entering the American steel market has been honoured at the annual ‘Awards for Steel Excellence’ in New York.
GFG and its metals and industrials business, Liberty Steel USA, received the ‘Best Mergers and Acquisitions’ award for the $320m deal in December 2018 which catapulted the UK-headquartered group to the forefront of wire rod production in the U.S.
The Alliance’s top North American management team along with executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta, accepted the prestigious title during the showcase Steel Success Strategies conference in Manhattan this week.
The acquisition of KCI with its pivotal mill at Peoria, Illinois, gave Liberty Steel USA a firm foothold in the country’s wire rod production sector, adding 1.1m tonnes of electric arc furnace (EAF) capacity and rolling mills to the melting and rolling facilities at Georgetown, South Carolina, that GFG bought in 2017 and restarted in summer 2018.
GFG recently consolidated its position at the head of the wire rod market with the acquisition of Johnstown Wire Technologies in Pennsylvania, North America’s largest producer of value-added carbon and alloy wire.
Sanjeev Gupta commented: “We’ve had a flying start to our American journey, led by an excellent U.S management team and supported by a skilled and committed American workforce. We’re really excited about the future because we recognise the huge market opportunities emerging over the coming years as the country renews its infrastructure and sees continued growth in manufacturing. We aim to further strengthen our position in wire rod and also move into other segments of the market.”
The KCI deal was supported by large North American banks including Wells Fargo NA and BMO Harris Bank (BMO Harris), along with funds managed by BlackRock Financial Management Inc., a subsidiary of BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager.