Ascometal is a leading European producer of engineering steel (or special quality bar, SBQ). The company later became known as Asco Industries.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
1984: Ascometal created from Usinor & Sacilor long product assets
1999: Ascometal sold to Lucchini by Usinor
2007: Disposal by Lucchini of Ascoforge Safe
2010: Bloom casting installed at Fos
2010: Le Cheylas EAF melt shop closed
2011: Le Cheylas round rolling mill closed
2012: Le Cheylas spring flats rolling mill closed
2012: US fund Apollo Management buys Ascometal from Lucchini
2014: Ascometal goes into administration
2014: Asco Industries acquires Ascometal assets
2015: JV with China's Ma'anshan for SBQ production Mascometal
2017: Creation of Ascoval JV with Vallourec
2017: Closure of EAF steelmaking at Les Dunes, Dunkirk
2017: Asco Industries announces bankruptcy Nov 2017
2018: Asco Industries acquired by SCHMOLZ + BICKENBACH
1984: At the time is was formed, Usinor and Sacilor were French Government-owned. Creation of Ascometal from the specialty long product assets of these two firms was part of the French socialist government's restructuring plan, which also led to the creation of Unimetal from the carbon long product assets of Usinor and Sacilor.
1995: Usinor-Sacilor was privatised.
1999: The sale of Ascometal to Lucchini took place just before 2001 merger of Usinor with Luxembourg's Arbed and Spain's Aceralia - a merger which created Arcelor.
2007: Ascoforge Safe produced ~40,000 tonnes per year of automotive forgings in Hagondange. This business was sold (by Severstal, owner of Lucchini) in October 2007 to a French entrepreneur for a consideration of 1 Euro.
2014: Asco Industries consortium includes Frank Supplisson, formerly French government chief of staff in ministry for economy, finance and industry; Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director if the International Monetary Fund (IMF); former ArcelorMittal ceo Guy Dolle; and Ascometal founder and former Airbus ceo Noel Forgeard.
2017: Ascoval JV was 60% owned by Asco Industries and 40% owned by Vallourec. The venture owned all the assets of the Saint Saulve steel mill in northern France (approx 275kt EAF capacity, with similar capacity for casting tube tube rounds).
2018: SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH, a world leader in the production of special steel, acquired the assets of Asco Industries on 1st February 2018. At end-2017, Asco Industries had around 1,400 employees whilst SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH had ~8900 employees.
2019: Future of Saint-Saulve steel mill noted to be uncertain after British Steel filed for bankruptcy. Plans had been in place for the acquisition of Saint Saulve by by Olympus Steel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British investment fund Greybull Capital. British Steel, owned by Greybull, went into compulsory liquidation in May 2019.
2020: Ascometal's new owner, Swiss stainless steelmaker Schmolz + Bickenbach, changed its company name in September 2020, being re-launched as Swiss Steel Holding AG.