Majority of AHMSA Shares Sold to Foreign Investors, Reports Say

A majority of shares in Mexican steelmaker Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA) has been sold to a group of foreign investors, according to reports in the Mexican press.

Shareholders of Grupo Acerero del Norte signed an agreement to transfer the majority of AHMSA shares to the group of foreign investors, an article in Milenio said on March 1. The deal aims to recapitalize AHMSA and provide for the future development of the company.

Grupo Acerero del Norte is the controlling company of AHMSA.

In the article, in Spanish, an AHMSA spokesman said that an agreement was signed between the parties on Feb. 20. Due to confidentiality clauses, details of the agreement cannot be revealed until various legal procedures have been completed, he said.

When contacted by SMU, the spokesman declined to elaborate on the comments he made to the Mexican press. 

The Milenio article states that the agreement provides for an initial infusion of $200 million to pay for working capital as well as to normalize labor obligations and operations at AHMSA’s steel plants and at its mines. The company is expected to receive $50 million in the next 15 days and the remaining $150 million before May 15, the report said. 

AHMSA makes hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, plate, tinplate, and structural shapes. The company has suffered a slew of financial, production and labor troubles in recent months, according to reports in the Mexican press.

These production issues have affected the US market as well, where AHMSA is an important steel supplier. Many market participants have cited the troubles at AHMSA as being among the many factors responsible for a tighter-than-expected spot market characterized by extended lead times and swiftly rising prices.

By Ethan Bernard,