ArcelorMittal Downstream Solutions division is restructuring its activities in Austria. This includes the closure of Ried-based distribution house Eisen Wagner and the spin-off of associated units, Kallanish learns from the company upon request.
“Despite the efforts after we took over ten years ago and despite some financial improvements achieved, we have not succeeded in making the distributor profitable,” said the division’s Austrian manager, Patrick Meesen.
Rebar bending shops in Ried and Wöllersdorf will be sold, as well as the laser-cutting centres in Hohenzell and Timelkamp. The activities for wall and roof activities will be continued within ArcelorMittal Construction. The closure of stockholder Eisen Wagner will affect 82 employees, for whom the company is preparing a social plan.
According to Austrian media, the service centre Metwex in Vienna will be taken over by the Frankstahl group. Local reports also quote the managing director at Ried, Klaus Jagereder, as saying that the labour market has good demand at present, and that many interested companies have already called.
The reports cite observers giving reasons for the closure as overcapacity, rising logistics’ costs, and, in this particular case, high rents. Local steelmaker voestalpine had ceased its distribution activities in Austria ten years ago.