BENTELER Halts North American Tube Mill Sale
“Following the successful ramp-up of the BENTELER steel tube plant in Shreveport, the site is now one of the most modern and efficient steel tube plants in North America and can exploit its full potential — especially in view of the strong oil and gas market in the U.S. which has developed very positively over the past months. The future market perspective by far exceeds previous expectations,” the company said in a statement.
BENTELER had agreed to sell its North American seamless tube mill to Tenaris last summer for US$460 million. The mill has a capacity of 400,000 metric tons annually and would have expanded Tenaris’ production range and manufacturing presence in the U.S.
The move came after the U.S. Justice Department raised anti-trust concerns with the sale, saying that it would have further concentrated the tube suppliers for the oil and gas industry and cemented Tenaris as "the undisputed dominant player in the market."
“A competitive oil and gas industry is vital to the U.S. economy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter. “The proposed acquisition would have eliminated BENTELER as an independent competitor and threatened higher prices, lower quality, and less innovation in this market,” he said
However, a BENTELER spokesperson told the Legal Dive newsletter that its decision is independent of the Justice Deprtment review, the results of which hadn't been expected until next month.
BENTELER said it will now keep the mill and move to increase productivity.
“We would like to thank our employees for their excellent work, especially over the recent months, which have been characterized by significant volume increases in line with our customers’ demands.,” said We are convinced that we will continue to successfully serve the high demands in the USA in future and, in doing so, make an important value contribution within the BENTELER Group,” said BENTELER Steel/Tube chief executive Christian Wiethüchter.