Few metal makers have the mettle of ArcelorMittal. The company is easily the largest steel-making entity in the world, producing more than 90 million metric tons of crude steel annually, about 6% of the world steel output. Operating in more than 60 countries, ArcelorMittal manufactures the full range of steel products: slabs and coil, coated steel and tinplate, wire rod and rebar, and billets and blooms, as well as all manner of electrical steel products. It also has 20 mining operations and is one of the world's largest iron ore producers. In 2011 it produced 54 million metric tons of iron ore and 8 million metric tons of metallurgical coal. CEO and founder Lakshmi Mittal controls about 41% of ArcelorMittal.
ArcelorMittal operates through subsidiaries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The company is the largest producer of steel in North and South America, and Africa, the second-largest steel producer in the Commonwealth of Independent States region, and has a growing presence in Asia, including investments in China. It is also the largest steel producer in the European Union. In addition, many of ArcelorMittal's units have access to developing markets that are expected to experience significant future growth in steel consumption, such as Central and Eastern Europe, South America, India, Africa, and Russia. Overall, about 48% of its steel is produced in Europe, 36% in the Americas, and 16% in other countries such as Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Ukraine.
ArcelorMittal produces a wide variety of products across all steel-consuming industries, including the automotive, appliance, engineering, construction, energy, and machinery markets. The company sells its products in local markets and through a centralized marketing organization in more than 170 countries. It's strategy depends on maintaining its size and scale in the global steel market, vertical integration of its operations, producing a diverse portfolio of products, and continuously improving its quality.
Following a dismal slide in 2009, ArcelorMittal rebounded to post a 20% increase in overall revenues for 2010. Still a far cry from the record numbers of 2008, the company's net income took a steep climb, up almost 2,500% in 2010 though it fell more than three times that amount the previous year due to the global recession. Its Flat Carbon Americas and Flat Carbon Europe segments showed significant sales gains in 2010, as did its Long Carbon Americas and Europe segment.
In 2011, the company spun off its stainless and specialty steels steel operations into Aperam, which immediately became the world's sixth-largest stainless steel producer. ArcelorMittal made the decision in 2010 to spin off its stainless steel units in Europe and Brazil after determining that they were underperforming and would better thrive as a separate business.
To focus on its core businesses and pay down debt, in 2012 ArcelorMittal agreed to sell New Jersey-based Skyline Steel, a North American steel foundation and piling products distributor, and specialty steel plate and bar producer Astralloy to US-based Nucor for $605 million. Arcelor-Mittal will continue to use Skyline as a distributor of its piling and foundation products, including sheet piling, in North America and the Caribbean. Skyline serves the construction and infrastructure industries.
In 2012 it also agreed to sell 15% of its ArcelorMittal Mines Canada subsidiary for $1.1 billion.
That year ArcelorMittal decided to expand its presence in China. It agreed to increase its stake in a joint venture with Valin Group, known as Valin ArcelorMittal Automotive (VAMA), from 33% to 49%. VAMA is trying to enhance its position in China as a supplier of high-strength steels and products for the automotive market. The joint venture, scheduled to become operational in 2014, will increase its planned capacity from 1.2 million tons to 1.5 million tons.
After spinning its wheels in an escalating bidding war, in 2011 ArcelorMittal joined rival Nunavut Iron Ore in making a joint acquisition of Canada-based Baffinland Iron Mines for $594 million. Both companies sought access to Baffinland's Mary River Project, an undeveloped deposit of iron ore on sparsely populated North Baffin Island located inside the Arctic Circle, as a source of raw materials. The venture faces stiff challenges, including building an infrastructure around the mine's formidable location, and shipping the ore out to Europe and other production sites.
Also that year, the company agreed to buy a 40% stake in G Steel Public Company, greatly expanding its presence in Asia. G Steel produces about 2.5 million ton of steel annually at its two slab-rolling plants in Thailand. The deal is part of ArcelorMittal's strategy of establishing a presence in emerging markets with with the potential for future growth.
In 2011 ArcelorMittal joined with Peabody Energy to make an offer to jointly acquire Macarthur Coal Ltd. and its extensive holdings (23 billion tons of reserves and the largest producer of pulverized coking coal) in Australia's Bowen Basin. ArcelorMittal would hold a 40% stake in Macarthur. However, shortly after the companies gained a controlling stake (more than 59%) in Macarthur, ArcelorMittal backed out of the deal. Peabody, the world's largest private-sector coal company, will take 100% of PEAMCoal, its joint venture with ArcelorMittal that was acquiring Macarthur.
In 2010 ArcelorMittal sought to buy Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Works, but the deal was rejected by the Zimbabwean government, which owns a controlling stake in the operation. Government officials said they were looking for a smaller company to partner with the state-owned operation.
In 2009 ArcelorMittal completed its acquisition of the laser-welding steel activities of Noble International, a leader in the niche industry. It also acquired Mexican steel producer Sicarsta for nearly $1.5 billion, an acquisition that, combined with its Lazaro Cardenas, created Mexico's largest steel company.
Since its consolidation of Arcelor and Mittal Steel, the company has been working to gather its Brazilian steel operations into one cohesive unit. ArcelorMittal Brasil is among that country's largest steel producers now. In 2008 ArcelorMittal agreed to pay London Mining $810 million to buy its Brazilian iron ore mining unit. The idea behind the deal is to vertically integrate more fully ArcelorMittal's steel operations by providing its own raw materials. – less