Gerdau Buys Chaparral for $4.2B

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Includes: CHAP, GNA
by: SA Eli Hoffmann

Toronto-based steel producer Gerdau Ameristeel said late Tuesday it will acquire Chaparral Steel for $4.22 billion, or $86/share -- a 14% premium to its $75.69 Tuesday close. The deal is an attempt by Gerdau, which is 67%-owned by Brazil's Gerdau AS, to diversify its product offerings. Chaparral is the number-two maker of structural steel beams in North America; it is also a major producer of steel bars and a recycling company. The acquisition will boost Gerdau's production of the steel used in office buildings and bridges -- which are in heavy demand due to a surge in infrastructure spending and a strong commercial real estate market -- by about 33%. Chaparral said in April it was exploring strategic options, including a possible sale, and that it hired Goldman Sachs to advise it. JP Morgan Chase is advising Gerdau and has promised financing of $4.6 billion. UBS analyst Edmo Chagas CHAP Chart-7-11-2007 10 criticized the deal: "We believe the acquisition is expensive and slightly negative for Gerdau," he wrote in a research note. Chaparral shares were up 71% YTD, and 20% since it put itself on the block.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg,
Commentary: Chaparral Steel Uses Eco-Friendly Methods In Steel ProductionGerdau Ameristeel Building its Way to the TopCapital Market Gives IPSCO Top Rating, Gerdau Ameristeel To Outperform
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Chaparral Steel Company (CHAP), Gerdau Ameristeel (GNA), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan & Chase Co. (NYSE:JPM). Competitors: Arcelor Mittal (NYSE:MT), United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X)

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