Gerdau S.A. Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
The world steel industry is composed of hundreds of steel producing facilities and is divided into two major categories based on the production method utilized: integrated steel mills and non-integrated steel mills, sometimes referred to as “mini-mills”. Integrated steel mills normally produce steel from iron oxide, which is extracted from iron ore melted in blast furnaces, and refine the iron into steel, mainly through the use of basic oxygen furnaces or, more rarely, electric arc furnaces. Non-integrated steel mills produce steel by melting in electric arc furnaces scrap steel, which occasionally is complemented by other metals such as direct-reduced iron or hot-compressed iron. According to World Steel, in 2014 (last information available), 25.6% of the total crude steel production in the world was through mini-mill process and the remaining 74.4% was through the integrated process.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY
Gerdau S.A. is a Brazilian corporation (Sociedade Anônima) that was incorporated on November 20, 1961 under the laws of Brazil. Its main registered office is located at Av. Farrapos, 1811, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and the telephone number is +55 (51) 3323 2000.
The current Company is the product of a number of corporate acquisitions, mergers and other transactions dating back to 1901. The Company began operating in 1901 as the Pontas de Paris nail factory controlled by the Gerdau family based in Porto Alegre, who is still the Company’s indirect controlling shareholder. In 1969, Pontas de Paris was renamed Metalúrgica Gerdau S.A., which today is the holding company controlled by the Gerdau family and the parent company of Gerdau S.A.
From 1901 to 1969, the Pontas de Paris nail factory grew and expanded its business into a variety of steel-related products and services. At the end of World War II, the Company acquired Siderúrgica Riograndense S.A., a steel producer also located in Porto Alegre, in an effort to broaden its activities and provide it with greater access to raw materials. In February 1948, the Company initiated its steel operations, which foreshadowed the successful mini-mill model of producing steel in electric arc furnaces using steel scrap as the main raw material. At that time the Company adopted a regional sales strategy to ensure more competitive operating costs. In 1957, the Company installed a second unit in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in the city of Sapucaia do Sul, and in 1962, steady growth in the production of nails led to the construction of a larger and more advanced factory in Passo Fundo, also in Rio Grande do Sul.
In 1967, the Company expanded into the Brazilian state of São Paulo, purchasing Fábrica de Arames São Judas Tadeu, a producer of nails and wires, which was later renamed Comercial Gerdau and ultimately became the Company’s Brazilian distribution channel for steel products. In June 1969, the Company expanded into the Northeast of Brazil, producing long steel at Siderúrgica Açonorte in the state of Pernambuco. In December 1971, the Company acquired control of Siderúrgica Guaíra, a long steel producer in the state of Paraná in Brazil’s South Region. The Company also established a new company, Seiva S.A. Florestas e Indústrias, to produce lumber on a sustainable basis for the furniture, pulp and steel industries. In 1979, the Company acquired control of the Cosigua mill in Rio de Janeiro, which currently operates the largest mini-mill in Latin America. Since then, the Company has expanded throughout Brazil with a series of acquisitions and new operations, and today owns 10 steel units in Brazil.
In 1980, the Company began to expand internationally with the acquisition of Gerdau Laisa S.A., the only long steel producer in Uruguay. In 1989, the Company acquired the Canadian company Gerdau Ameristeel Cambridge, a producer of common long rolled steel products located in Cambridge, Ontario. In 1992, the Company acquired control of Gerdau AZA S.A., a producer of crude steel and long rolled products in Chile. Over time, the Company increased its international presence by acquiring a non-controlling interest in a rolling mill in Argentina, a controlling interest in Diaco S.A. in Colombia, and, most notably, additional interests in North America through the acquisition of Gerdau Ameristeel MRM Special Sections, a producer of special sections such as elevator guide rails and super light beams, and the former Ameristeel Corp., a producer of common long rolled products. In October 2002, through a series of transactions, the Company merged its North American steel production assets with those of the Canadian company Co-Steel, a producer of long steel, to create Gerdau Ameristeel, which is currently the second largest long steel producer in North America based on steel production volume. Gerdau Ameristeel itself has a number of operations throughout Canada and the United States, with 15 steel units and 57 fabrication shops and downstream operations. In December 2003, Gerdau Açominas S.A., signed a purchase agreement with the Votorantim Group. Under this contract, Gerdau Açominas S.A. has agreed to purchase the real estate and mining rights of Companhia Paraibuna de Metais, a company controlled by Votorantim Group, whose mines were located at Miguel Burnier, Várzea do Lopes and Gongo Soco in the state of Minas Gerais. The assets involved in this transaction include 15 extraction concessions, located in a total area of 7,000 hectares. The original mining and steelworks facilities included in the aforementioned acquisition were decommissioned at that time. The price agreed upon for the purchase of the real estate and mineral rights described above was US$ 30 million (R$88.1 million on the date of the acquisition), with US$ 7.5 million paid at the signing of the agreement, 25% upon completion of the due diligence process and the remaining 50% in June of 2004. Gerdau’s initial focus was to ensure its iron ore self-sufficiency within the state of Minas Gerais. Since the iron ore self-sufficiency on our integrated mill (Ouro Branco) was achieved in 2012, currently, Gerdau is conducting exploration and development studies on its mining operations in order to establish itself as a player in the global iron ore market.
In September 2005, Gerdau acquired 36% of the stock issued by Sipar Aceros S.A., a long steel rolling mill, located in the Province of Santa Fé, Argentina. This interest, added to the 38% already owned by Gerdau represents 74% of the capital stock of Sipar Aceros S.A. In the same month, Gerdau concluded the acquisition of a 57% interest in Diaco S.A., the largest rebar manufacturer in Colombia. In January 2008, Gerdau acquired an additional interest of 40% for US$107.2 million (R$188.7 million on the acquisition date), increasing its interest to 99% of the capital stock, a figure that also takes into consideration the dilution of non-controlling interests, which explains the higher Gerdau share compared with the share in the two major acquisitions made.
In January 2006, through its subsidiary Gerdau Hungria Holdings Limited Liability Company, Gerdau acquired 40% of the capital stock of Corporación Sidenor S.A. for US$219.2 million (R$493.2 million on the acquisition date), the largest long special steel producer, forged parts manufacturer and foundry in Spain, and one of the major producers of forged parts using the stamping process in that country. In December 2006, Gerdau announced that its Spanish subsidiary Corporación Sidenor, S.A., had completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares issued by GSB Acero, S.A., a subsidiary of CIE Automotive for US$143.0 million (R$313.8 million on the acquisition date). In December 2008, Gerdau Hungria Holding Limited Liability Company acquired for US$288.0 million (R$674.0 million on the acquisition date) a 20% interest in Corporación Sidenor. With this acquisition, Gerdau became the majority shareholder (60%) in Corporación Sidenor.
In March 2006, the assets of two industrial units were acquired in the United States. The first was Callaway Building Products in Knoxville, Tennessee, a supplier of fabricated rebar to the construction industry. The second was Fargo Iron and Metal Company located in Fargo, North Dakota, a storage and scrap processing facility and service provider to manufacturers and construction companies.
In June 2006, Gerdau acquired for US$103.0 million (R$224.5 million on the acquisition date) Sheffield Steel Corporation in Sand Springs, Oklahoma in the USA. Sheffield is a mini-mill producer of common long steel, namely concrete reinforcement bars and merchant bars.
In the same month, Gerdau won the bid for 50% plus one share of the capital stock of Empresa Siderúrgica Del Perú S.A.A. (Siderperú) located in the city of Chimbote in Peru for US$60.6 million (R$134.9 million on the acquisition date). In November 2006, Gerdau also won the bid for 324,327,847 shares issued by Siderperú, which represented 33% of the total capital stock, for US$40.5 million, totaling US$101.1 million (R$219.8 million on the acquisition date). This acquisition added to the interest already acquired earlier in the year, for an interest of 83% of the capital stock of Siderperú.
In November 2006, the Company completed the acquisition of a 55% controlling interest in Pacific Coast Steel (“PCS”), for $104.0 million (R$227.4 million on the acquisition date). The company operates rebar fabrication plants in San Diego, San Bernardino, Fairfield, and Napa, California. Additionally, in April, 2008 Gerdau increased its stake in PCS to 84% paying US$82.0 million (R$138.4 million on the acquisition date). The acquisition of PCS expanded the Company’s operations to the West Coast of the United States and also added rebar placing capability.
In March 2007, Gerdau acquired Siderúrgica Tultitlán, a mini mill located in the Mexico City that produces rebar and profiles. The price paid for the acquisition was US$259.0 million (R$536.0 million on the acquisition date).
In May 2007, Gerdau acquired an interest of 30% in Multisteel Business Holdings Corp., a holding of Indústrias Nacionales, C. por A. (“INCA”), a company located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, that produces rolled products. This partnership allowed Gerdau to access the Caribbean market. The total cost of the acquisition was US$42.9 million (R$82.0 million on the acquisition date). In July 2007, Gerdau acquired an additional interest of 19% in Multisteel Business Holdings Corp., bringing its total interest in the Company to 49%. The total cost of this second acquisition was US$72.0 million (R$135.2 million on the acquisition date). In October, 2014, Gerdau and Complejo Metalúrgico Dominicano S.A. confirmed the merger of operations of its companies Industrias Nacionales and METALDOM, becoming denominated Gerdau Metaldom. This merger is aimed at more 89 efficiency and competitiveness in the Caribbean and Central America region and assures the supply of steel products for construction sector in the Dominican Republic.
In June 2007, Gerdau acquired 100% of the capital stock of Siderúrgica Zuliana C.A., a Venezuelan company operating a steel mill in the city of Ojeda, Venezuela. The total cost of the acquisition was US$92.5 million (R$176.2 million on the acquisition date).
In the same month, Gerdau and the Kalyani Group from India initiated an agreement to establish a joint venture for an investment in Tadipatri, India. The joint venture included an interest of 45% in Kalyani Gerdau Steel Ltd. The agreement provides for shared control of the joint venture, and the purchase price was US$73.0 million (R$127.3 million on the acquisition date). In May 2008, Gerdau announced the conclusion of this acquisition. On July 7, 2012, the Company obtained control of Kalyani Gerdau Steel Ltds (KGS), which the Company had an interest of 91.28% as of the control acquisition date. In 2012, until the date Gerdau acquired control over KGS, Gerdau made capital increases in KGS, which resulted in an increase of shareholding interest, going from 80.57% in December 31, 2011 to 91.28%.
In September 2007, Gerdau concluded the acquisition of Chaparral Steel Company, increasing Gerdau’s portfolio of products and including a comprehensive line of structural steel products. The total cost of the acquisition was US$4.2 billion (R$7.8 billion on the acquisition date), plus the assumption of certain liabilities.
In October 2007, Gerdau acquired 100% of Enco Materials Inc., a leading company in the market of commercial materials headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. Enco Materials Inc. has eight units located in Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. The purchase price for this acquisition was US$46 million (R$84.9 million on the acquisition date) in cash, plus the assumption of certain liabilities of the acquired company.
In the same month, Gerdau executed a letter of intent for the acquisition of an interest of 49% in the capital stock of the holding company Corsa Controladora, S.A. de C.V., headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico. The holding company owns 100% of the capital stock of Aceros Corsa, S.A. de C.V. and its distributors. Aceros Corsa, located in the city of Tlalnepantla in the Mexico City metropolitan area, is a mini-mill responsible for the production of long steel (light commercial profiles). The acquisition price was US$110.7 million (R$186.3 million on the acquisition date). In February 2008, the Company announced the conclusion of this acquisition.
In November 2007, Gerdau entered into a binding agreement for the acquisition of the steel company MacSteel from Quanex Corporation. MacSteel is the second largest producer of Special Bar Quality (SBQ) in the United States and operates three mini-mills located in Jackson, Michigan; Monroe, Michigan; and Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Company also operates six downstream operations in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. The agreement did not include the Building Products business of Quanex, which is an operation not related to the steel market. The purchase price for this acquisition was US$1.5 billion (R$2.4 billion on the acquisition date) in addition to the assumption of their debts and some liabilities. Gerdau concluded the acquisition in April 2008.
In February 2008, Gerdau invested in the verticalization of its businesses and acquired an interest of 51% in Cleary Holdings Corp. for US$73.0 million (R$ 119.3 million on the acquisition date). The Company controls a metallurgical coke producer and coking coal reserves in Colombia. In August 2010, Gerdau S.A. concluded the acquisition of an additional 49% of the total capital of Cleary Holdings Corp. for US$57 million.
In April 2008, Gerdau entered into a strategic partnership with Corporación Centroamericana del Acero S.A., assuming a 30.0% interest in the capital of this company. The Company owns assets in Guatemala and Honduras as well as distribution centers in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Belize. The price of the acquisition was $180 million (R$ 303.7 million on the acquisition date).
In June, 2008, the parent company Metalúrgica Gerdau S.A. acquired a 29% stake of voting and total capital in Aços Villares S.A. from BNDESPAR for R$ 1.3 billion. As a payment, Metalúrgica Gerdau S.A. issued debentures to be exchanged for Gerdau S.A.’s common shares. In December, 2009 the Company’s stake in Aços Villares S.A. owned through its subsidiary Corporación Sidenor S.A. was transferred to direct control of Gerdau S.A., for US$ 218 million (R$ 384 million on the acquisition date), which then owned a total 59% stake in Aços Villares S.A. In December 30, 2010, Gerdau S.A. and Aços Villares S.A. shareholders approved the merger into Gerdau S.A. of Aços Villares S.A. The transaction was carried out through a share exchange, whereby the shareholders of Aços Villares S.A. received one share in Gerdau S.A. for each lot of twenty-four shares held. The new shares were credited on February 10, 2011. As a result of the transaction, Aços Villares S.A. was delisted from the Brazilian stock exchange. Following the issuance of new shares under the merger, on February 28, 2011, the capital stock of Gerdau S.A. was represented by 505,600,573 common shares and 1,011,201,145 preferred shares.
On January 6, 2009, the Company, through its subsidiary Gerdau Aços Longos S.A., signed an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of Maco Metalúrgica Ltda. for R$4.2 million. The activities of Maco Metalúrgica Ltda. include, among other things, the production and sale of drawn steel wires and electric-welded steel mesh. The acquisition was concluded on June 4, 2009.
On August 30, 2010, Gerdau S.A. concluded the acquisition of all outstanding common shares issued by Gerdau Ameristeel that it did not yet hold either directly or indirectly, for us$11.00 per share in cash, corresponding to a total of us$1.6 billion (R$ 2.8 billion). With the acquisition, Gerdau Ameristeel was delisted from the New York and Toronto stock exchanges.
On October 21, 2010, Gerdau S.A. concluded the acquisition of Tamco, a company based in the state of California. TAMCO is a mini-mill that produces rebar and is one of the largest producers on the West Coast of the United States. The acquisition price was approximately US$ 166.4 million (R$ 283.1 million on the acquisition date).
On October 8, 2014, the Company concluded the sale of its 50% interest in its joint venture entity Gallatin Steel Company (Gallatin) to Nucor Corporation for R$ 937.8 million. The gain on the sale of this interest of R$ 636,528, before taxes was recognized in the income statement during the fourth quarter of 2014.
On November 14, 2014, the Company acquired from its parent company Metalúrgica Gerdau S.A. an additional participation of 0.63% in Gerdau Açominas S.A., 0.43% in Gerdau Aços Especiais S.A. and 0.86% in Gerdau Aços Longos S.A. The amount paid in the transaction came to R$130.2 million. The objective of this operation was to concentrate the operating companies in Gerdau S.A.
On July 13, 2015 the Company approved the acquisition of the minority interests described below, in the following companies: Gerdau Aços Longos S.A. (4.77%), Gerdau Açominas S.A. (3.50%), Gerdau Aços Especiais S.A. (2.39%) and Gerdau América Latina Participações S.A. (4.90%), with its counterparts Itaú Unibanco S.A. and ArcelorMittal Netherlands BV. The acquisitions of these interests, in a total amount of R$1,986 million, allowed Gerdau to hold more than 99% of the total capital of each of the subsidiaries. On August 10, 2015, the CVM requested clarification from Gerdau and the Company, referring to the statements of a shareholder concerning the transaction for the acquisition of minority stakes in subsidiaries by Gerdau. The shareholder alleged a potential conflict of interest in the transaction. In response, the Company has identified to the CVM that the referenced acquisition had exclusively commercial merits, was properly and unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of Gerdau and that the terms and conditions for the acquisition took into account a long term market perspective.
On February 2, 2016, the Company announced that it has signed a technical cooperation agreement with JFE Steel Corporation for the production in Brazil of heavy plates, a value added steel good, to serve the market in the Americas. The agreement will optimize the learning curve of the heavy plate rolling mill, which will have the most modern technological resources, and operations will start in July 2016 at the Ouro Branco Mill in the state of Minas Gerais.