Belgian reinforcement fabricator in ‘faillite’

One of the largest Belgian reinforcement fabricating companies, Columbus Steel, was on Monday officially declared in bankruptcy by the commercial court of Ghent, Dendermonde district, a source close to the matter told S&P Global Platts.

When Platts called to speak to Columbus, the person who answered the phone on Tuesday said the CEO was absent, but confirmed that the company was in “faillite” (bankruptcy). Platts’ further efforts to reach the CEO were unsuccessful.

The bankruptcy judgment will be published soon, Platts understands.

Platts was told that Columbus had liquidity problems due to large investments as well as difficult business conditions in the cutting and bending sector.

“The problem is that transformers buy short and then have to give prices and deliver for long-term projects,” an industry source explained. “Steelmakers… and also small suppliers and subcontractors lost money with this [bankruptcy]”, he added.

French reinforcement company Sotralentz entered receivership last year due to the economic downturn and low oil prices, aggravated by the fact that its rod provider changed its payment terms.

According to Columbus Steel’s website the company processes over 80,000 metric tons/year of steel.

Annalisa Villa, PLATTS