Effective January 7, 2009, Georgsmarienhutte Holding GmbH purchased 100% ownership of Ellwood Steel Belgium S.A. (ESB). With its electric melt ship in Seraing, near Liege, and a workforce of around 150 employees, ESB generated annual sales of 121 million Euros in 2007 and produced 142,000 metric tons of steel for use in forging applications.
The company specializes in continuously cast rounds up to 600 mm in diameter, and bottom-poured ingots up to 800 mm in diameter. ESB is said to be unique in Europe with this forging steel configuration.
According to David Barensfeld, president and CEO of the Ellwood Group, Inc., "We have found a successful new shareholder for ESB in Georgsmarienhutte Holding GmbH that will develop the high level of technical and workforce expertise further and strengthen ESB in the future."
With the takeover of ESB, Georgsmarienhutte Group is seeking to extend the product portfolio of its steel production business unit and penetrate new market segments. The ESB brand name will in the future stand for Engineering Steel Belgium.
As Peter van Hllen, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Georgsmarienhutte Holding GmbH explains further, the aim is to "have access to the market for particularly large-format quality and engineering steels as well as a stronger position for Georgsmarienhutte Group of Companies in ESB's current markets.“
Through the integration of ESB, van Hllen expects a significant increase in the raw steel production capacity of the group in the medium term which will cover especially the steel requirements of Georgsmarienhtte Group’s steel processing companies.
ESB is primarily in European markets, but also in North America, South America, and Asia. Just under half of the produced steel is used in power-generation applications, such as wind energy. Other markets include the mining and construction industries, mechanical and plant engineering, oil and gas extraction, and transportation.
Georgsmarienhutte Group currently encompasses 51 companies in Germany and Austria. Around 10,400 employees generated sales of approximately 2.8 billion Euros in 2007.