Beltrame closes in on Romanian longs mill acquisition

Beltrame has received Romanian competition authority approval to take over bankrupt long products mill COS Targoviste for €38.3 million ($43.5m).

The Italian firm tells Kallanish it plans to invest some €100m into modernising the Romanian long products mill’s equipment.

Liberty Steel had also been in the running to acquire the plant, according to stock exchange filings.

The Romanian government had initially planned to take over COS Targoviste in exchange for the mill’s state debt. However, this plan fell through after government ministerial changes and the state’s loss of will to nationalise a steel plant.

In 2020 COS Targoviste stopped production indefinitely and dismissed around 1,200 workers after working capital was depleted and debts increased. The firm had been on the verge of an acquisition by Laminorul Danube Metallurgical Enterprise, a recently-established company that is 90% owned by Polish industrial investor Sunningwell International Polska. However, this transaction was scuppered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

COS Targoviste reported no production in January-September 2021. Sales fell 76% on-year to 1,744 tonnes, with exports accounting for 1,548t. Revenue slumped 57% to RON 13.06 million ($3m) but net loss halved to RON 22.4m.

The firm produces mainly rebar and a range of special steels.

Beltrame already owns a plant in Romania, Donalam, which produces 8-320mm diameter round bar and reported sales of 106,000t in 2019. The firm estimates a 50-60% on-year increase in revenue for the plant in 2021 to RON 630m.

The Italian group said last year it also plans to build a 600,000 t/year eco-friendly rebar and wire rod mill in Romania for an investment of €300m.

Adam Smith Germany