Aurubis to Consider Copper Acquisitions

Industry News 09:40:38AM Feb 10, 2012 Source:SMM

HAMBURG, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, will continue to consider acquisitions of copper smelters or product makers, its new CEO said on Thursday.

"We remain open to the possibility of pushing forward external growth," said Peter Willbrandt, who took over the top job on Jan. 1. "We are in a strong financial position. But anything we do must fit well to us, we will take no risky steps."

But he said the first priority remains the integration of the group's last takeover, its purchase of the rolled products business of international copper group Luvata in April 2011 at a cost of over 200 million euros.

He added: "There is no rush. We have a good business model and good opportunities for organic growth. Aurubis is not the sort of company which needs to make acquisitions to continue growth."

Willbrandt said that under his leadership, Aurubis' strategy will remain focused on expanding its existing copper production and copper processing/product activities. Aurubis is not interested in taking over a copper mine, he said at a media briefing.

"We will remain in our core expertise area," he said.

Copper smelters were at the greatest advantage when close to their raw materials and copper products firms were best close to their markets, he said when asked about which geographical regions takeovers could be considered.

Europe remains the group's main market. "But the emerging economies such as in Asia are also rapidly expanding copper products markets," he said.

South American economies are also achieving strong growth, he said.

Aurubis acquired its first location in the United States in the Luvata copper rolling plant in Buffalo. Aurubis has already said some business will be moved to Buffalo because of its decision to restructure its rolled products activities in Sweden.

Asked if further growth in the United States was on the cards, he said: "I am optimistic."

He expects copper prices to remain firm, driven by Chinese and emerging economy demand. Copper prices hovered around four-month-highs this week as investors hoped for a resolution of the Greek bailout package.

"We see the copper price as remaining relatively well supported,"' he said. "The emerging economies and China continue to grow, even if growth is at a slower rate."

Aurubis posted a strong rise in full year profits in its 2010/11 business year on Jan. 19 and is scheduled to report first quarter 2011/12 earnings on Feb 14.

He declined comment on the upcoming quarterly figures He said that the new business year he is expecting a "satisfactory result" but the uncertain economic environment makes no precise forecasts possible.











 

Aurubis to Consider Copper Acquisitions

Industry News 09:40:38AM Feb 10, 2012 Source:SMM

HAMBURG, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Aurubis AG, Europe's largest copper producer, will continue to consider acquisitions of copper smelters or product makers, its new CEO said on Thursday.

"We remain open to the possibility of pushing forward external growth," said Peter Willbrandt, who took over the top job on Jan. 1. "We are in a strong financial position. But anything we do must fit well to us, we will take no risky steps."

But he said the first priority remains the integration of the group's last takeover, its purchase of the rolled products business of international copper group Luvata in April 2011 at a cost of over 200 million euros.

He added: "There is no rush. We have a good business model and good opportunities for organic growth. Aurubis is not the sort of company which needs to make acquisitions to continue growth."

Willbrandt said that under his leadership, Aurubis' strategy will remain focused on expanding its existing copper production and copper processing/product activities. Aurubis is not interested in taking over a copper mine, he said at a media briefing.

"We will remain in our core expertise area," he said.

Copper smelters were at the greatest advantage when close to their raw materials and copper products firms were best close to their markets, he said when asked about which geographical regions takeovers could be considered.

Europe remains the group's main market. "But the emerging economies such as in Asia are also rapidly expanding copper products markets," he said.

South American economies are also achieving strong growth, he said.

Aurubis acquired its first location in the United States in the Luvata copper rolling plant in Buffalo. Aurubis has already said some business will be moved to Buffalo because of its decision to restructure its rolled products activities in Sweden.

Asked if further growth in the United States was on the cards, he said: "I am optimistic."

He expects copper prices to remain firm, driven by Chinese and emerging economy demand. Copper prices hovered around four-month-highs this week as investors hoped for a resolution of the Greek bailout package.

"We see the copper price as remaining relatively well supported,"' he said. "The emerging economies and China continue to grow, even if growth is at a slower rate."

Aurubis posted a strong rise in full year profits in its 2010/11 business year on Jan. 19 and is scheduled to report first quarter 2011/12 earnings on Feb 14.

He declined comment on the upcoming quarterly figures He said that the new business year he is expecting a "satisfactory result" but the uncertain economic environment makes no precise forecasts possible.