Steel Mills

Nucor Continues Downstream Pivot, Acquires Utility Manufacturer

Written by David Schollaert

Nucor has agreed to acquire Summit Utility Structures LLC and a related company, Sovereign Steel Manufacturing LLC. They produce metal poles and other steel structures for utility infrastructure and highway signage, the steelmaker said.

NucorCharlotte, N.C.-based Nucor said the companies will become part of a new business unit, Nucor Towers & Structures, serving the utility, transportation, and telecommunication sectors.

The move is the latest in a string of recent downstream acquisitions by Nucor. It is also in line with what Nucor president and CEO Leon Topalian said in recent remarks to Steel Market Update. Namely, that Nucor “absolutely” wants to “pivot from being just a steelmaker to a manufacturing company.”

Though these companies are ideally suited to serve the Northeast, Nucor said it plans to establish a nationwide footprint to serve the entire North American market.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“These acquisitions continue to position Nucor as the leader in steel and downstream steel products as part of our strategy … to acquire companies who have a direct connection to our industry, offer significant growth opportunities, and enhance Nucor’s position as the leading manufacturing company in the metals industry,” Topalian said.

With the move, Nucor intends to “become the preferred solutions provider for utility transmission towers, substations, telecommunication towers, and highway signage structures,” he said.

Nucor looks to capitalize on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act with its latest acquisition. The company expects utility infrastructure to enter a phase of accelerated growth due to the replacement of aging infrastructure, and it anticipates that increased consumption of wireless data will drive demand for telecommunication towers. The highway signage market will also benefit from the federal investments set to be made in transportation.

“These acquisitions create a new growth platform for our company to provide engineered solutions for utility infrastructure and construction projects,” said Chad Utermark, Nucor’s executive vice president of new markets and innovation. “The creation of Nucor Towers & Structures strongly complements our plate capabilities while also adding a new dimension to our arsenal of value-added downstream.”

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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