SteelAsia offers to acquire Nat’l Steel

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., the country’s largest reinforced steel bar maker, is offering to acquire National Steel Corp. in Iligan City and convert it into a state-of-the-art steel manufacturing complex.

In a statement over the weekend, SteelAsia said it submitted its proposal to National Development Co. general manager Ma. Lourdes Rebueno, wherein it offered to negotiate with all valid claimants, including the government, for an asset-purchase arrangement.

SteelAsia said the proposed acquisition would support the rising demand for steel products in line with the country’s growing economy and the infrastructure push of the government.

“This will be a major step toward the development of a long overdue local steel industry which will generate new businesses and strengthen existing ones like the automotive industry, shipbuilding and repair, construction, and infrastructure that in turn will boost countryside growth and create more jobs,” SteelAsia president Benjamin Yao said.

Yao said SteelAsia is planning to put up a modern and environment-friendly factory in Iligan, producing products like plates, beams, billets, slabs, sheet piles, among others. All these products are currently being imported by the country.

If the acquisition proposal materializes, he said Iligan would be SteelAsia’s seventh steelworks.

The firm’s six steelworks, located in key growth regions throughout the country, are all operating at full capacity.

“We grew exponentially in the past 10 years, starting with a production capacity of 450,000 metric tons in 2006 to 2.7 million metric tons in 2016 for rebars and billets. We are putting up new ones in the next two years to bring up our capacity to five million metric tons, which will be 60 percent of total annual demand,” Yao said.

Aside from putting up facilities from scratch in Davao City and Meycauayan, SteelAsia has also acquired mothballed or existing plants like those in Cebu, Batangas, and Misamis Oriental.

Yao said funding used for all of the company’s acquisitions have been fully paid as of last year.

“We have the expertise and the balance sheet to take over Iligan and re-start our quest for a steel industry that will serve as the backbone of our industrialization,” Yao said.

“We see continuing growth in demand in the coming years that is why we need to expand. The Iligan plant will be a strategic maneuver for us as a company and the country as well in terms of industrialization,” he said.

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