History of the Gerdau Group.

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History of the Gerdau Group

From its beginning as a small nail factory in 1901, the Gerdau Group has grown into the 30th largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~14 million tonnes of crude steel in 2021.

The timeline below covers the history of the firm.

  • 1901: Small nail factory starts up in Porto Alegre.
  • 1933: Business expands with 2nd nail factory in Rio Grande.
  • 1947: Gerdau nail business listed on Porto Alegre stock exchange.
  • 1948: Steelmaking commences at Riograndense Works.
  • 1957: Production starts at 2nd Riograndense mill, Sapucala do Sul.
  • 1961: Continuous casting process is adopted at Sapucala do Sul.
  • 1962: Nail production expanded with new factory at Passo Fundo.
  • 1963: Gerdau Foundation set up: help in housing, education, health.
  • 1967: Downstream expansion into wire making at Sao Paolo.
  • 1969: Steel production starts at the Aconorte Works, Pernambuco.
  • 1971: Thyssen jv - Cosigua Project - steel mill in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1971: Acquisition of Siderurgica Guaira in Parana State.
  • 1971: Launch of Comercial Gerdau.
  • 1980: Internationalisation via investment in Laisa Works in Uruguay.
  • 1981: Construction of 2 Brazilian plants, Cearense and Araucaria.
  • 1988: Purchase of Barao de Cocais Works, Minas Gerais.
  • 1989: Acquisition of Courtice Steel Works, Ontario, Canada.
  • 1992: Start of steel production in Chile - Aza Steel Works.
  • 1992: Entry into special steels - acquisition of Acos Finos Piratini.
  • 1995: Acquisition in Canada of MRM Steel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  • 1997: Acquisition of equity stake in Acominas.
  • 1999: ADRs launched on New York stock exchange.
  • 1999: Acquisition by Gerdau of Ameristeel.
  • 2002: Buys 5th US mill - Birmingham Southeast Mill, Cartersville.
  • 2003: Merger of Gerdau & Co-Steel N American operations.
  • 2003: Assets of Gerdau & Acominas merged into Gerdau Acominas.
  • 2004: Gerdau Ameristeel buys 4 long product mills from North Star.
  • 2004: Expansion in Colombia - buys Diaco & Siderurgia del Pacifico.
  • 2005: Gets control of Sipar Aceros - Argentinian long product mill.
  • 2005: Purchase of speciality steel production assets in Spain.
  • 2006: Acquisition of Fargo Iron & Metal Co, USA (scrap processing).
  • 2007: Acquisition of Sidertul rebar plant in Mexico.
  • 2007: Start of rebar operations [in alliance] in Dominican Republic.
  • 2007: Acquisition of Sizuca, Venezuela.
  • 2007: Gerdau acquisition of Quanex's US steel business (Macsteel).
  • 2007: $4.2 billion acquisition of Chaparral Steel, USA.
  • 2010: Buys all Gerdau Ameristeel shares not already owned.
  • 2010: Acquires TAMCO - a large rebar mill in the Western U.S.
  • 2011: Gerdau Ameristeel rebranded as Gerdau.
  • 2012: Plan announced to build new Mexican structural shapes plant.
  • 2013: Acquisition of Cycle Systems, a metals recycling firm in Roanoke.
  • 2013: Temporarily idles melt shop at steel mill in Cambridge Ontario.
  • 2014: Starts expansion of Minas Gerais iron ore production to 24mt.
  • 2015: Lays off 200 workers at Pindamonhangaba steel mill.
  • 2016: Investigation of CEO & others into alleged tax evasion scandal.
  • 2016: Completes sale of Spanish special steel business to Clerbil.
  • 2017: In talks over potential sale of Mexican and Indian steel assets.
  • 2018: Sells remaining equity stake in Gerdau Steel India Ltd.
  • 2019: Buys steel mill in northeastern Brazil for $111 million.
  • 2020: Announces planned closure of Jackson Michigan SBQ plant.
  • 2020: Announces plan to idle Minnesota EAF and rolling mill.
  • 2020: Launches new division 'Gerdau Next' to focus on new business development.
  • 2021: Announces $500m capacity expansion projects at Ouro Branco.

  • 1971: Role of Comercial Gerdau was sale flat and long steel products.
  • 1981: Cearense Works located in state of Ceara; Araucaria works located in state of Parana.
  • 1997: Gerdau acquisition of a holding in Acominas done together with NatSteel and the Acominas Employees' Association.
  • Ameristeel in 1999 was the second largest producer of rebar in the USA, with ownership of four minimills in Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.
  • Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation was created through the 2003 merger of the North American steel operations of Gerdau and Canada's Co-Steel.
  • On its creation in 2003, Gerdau Acominas became responsible for the company's steelmaking in Brazil.
  • 2005 acquisition by Gerdau of certain specialty steel assets in Spain was an important step for the company in getting entry into EU steel markets.
  • 2007 Gerdau alliance in Dominican Republic was with Industrias Nacionales.
  • Sizuca Venezuela also known as Siderugica Zuliana. At the time of its acquisition by Gerdau, this was the 3rd largest steelmaker in Venezuela (a 300 kt/year long product mini mill).
  • 2007 Quanex acquisition by Gerdau was for a consideration of ~$1.5 billion in cash, plus the assumption of debt and certain liabilities. MacSteel, the Quanex steel mill, was at the time of the Gerdau purchase the second largest producer of specialty steel long products in North America with annual production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes of steel and 1.1 million metric tonnes of rolled steel products. MacSteel has three steel mills based in Jackson (Michigan), Monroe (Michigan) and in Fort Smith (Arkansas), with 6 rolling mills in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.
  • In 2007, Chaparral Steel operated two mini mills: one in Midlothian, Texas; the other in Dinwiddle County, Virginia.
  • New structural shapes facility in Mexico (through joint venture with Gerdau Corsa) will have annual installed capacity of ~1 million metric tonnes of steel and 700,000 tonnes of rolled products.
  • Cycle Systems, a metals recycling business acquired by Gerdau in 2013, has nine locations throughout central and western Virginia, including a shredder and several feed yards. Cycle Systems processed nearly 170,000 tonnes of materials in 2011.
  • 2014: The plan is for Gerdau, together with the government of Minas Gerais, to expand its annual iron ore processing capacity to 24 million metric tonnes by 2020.
  • 2015: Brazil's weak economy - hurt by a giant corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petrobras - saw tens of thousands of workers in Brazil lose their jobs since late 2014. Around 1700 workers are normally employed at Gerdau mill in Pindamonhangaba.
  • 2016: In May 2016, police indicted more than a dozen people (including the company's chief executive officer Andrew Gerdau) for their alleged involvement in a tax evasion scandal.
  • 2016: Gerdau completed the sale of its Sidenor special steel business to Clerbil in June 2016. The Sidenor steel assets include plants in the Basque Country, Cantabria and Cataluna and commercial offices in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
  • 2017: Talks said to be progressing between Gerdau and investors about the potential purchase of Gerdau mills in Mexico and India. The Brazilian group is thought to be negotiating the sale of the 400 kt/year Sidertul plant near Mexico City. Gerdau is also thought to be in advanced negotiations to sell a stake on the 300kt/year SJK Steel Plant in India, where it has a 91% ownership stake.
  • 2018: Gerdau assets in India included a special steel industrial unit located in Tadipatri with an annual installed capacity of 250000 tonnes of crude steel and 300,000 tonnes of rolled steel.
  • 2019: Steel mill purchase from Spain’s Hierros Anon SA concerned the Siderurgica Latino-Americana SA (SILAT) facility, a plant located near the city of Fortaleza with installed production capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year.
  • 2020: The Michigan SBQ mill, located to tthe west of Detroit, has a 300kt electric arc furnace with 276,000 metric tonnes/yr of bar rolling capacity. The facility produces special bars and shapes and cold finished bar. According to Gerdau's 2020 restructuring plan, both melting and rolling in Michigan were to cease in April 2020. After this point, SBQ processing and finishing was however to continue, with melting and bar rolling transferred to Gerdau's other two special steel plants in Monroe, Michigan, and Fort Smith, Arkansas.
  • 2020: Gerdau plan was to idle the St Paul melt shop and rolling mill in Minnesota by the end of June. The St Paul mill has an electric arc furnace with a production capacity of 560,000 short tons and produces rebar, merchant bar, special bar and round bar.
  • 2020: Gerdau Next will develop steel-related products and businesses. Mr Juliano Prado - the new head of Gerdau Next - will report directly to Gerdau CEO Mr Gustavo Werneck.
  • 2021: Ouro Branco investment in Minas Gerais comprises a $200 million for a 250 kt/year HRC rolling mill expansion which will take hot strip mill capacity to 1.1 mt / year; and a $300 million investment for a new 500 kt / year structural profile project.

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