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BlueScope and Nippon Steel sign JV for coated products

Published August 16, 2012
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BlueScope and Nippon Steel Corporation have agreed to form a new joint venture encompassing BlueScope's ASEAN and North American building products businesses. Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) of Japan will be the world's second largest steelmaker following completion of its merger with Sumitomo Metals.

The new 50:50 joint venture, called NS BlueScope Coated Products, provides a strong platform to capture expected growth in the $40 billion per year building and construction sector in ASEAN and North America. The JV will facilitate entry into new markets not currently accessible to BlueScope. For example, the JV will supply whitegoods manufacturers offering products to Asia's fast growing middle class. The JV will also speed up entry into emerging markets in the ASEAN region.

NSC's investment recognizes an agreed enterprise valuation for the JV of $1.36 billion. BlueScope will receive approximately $540 million in net proceeds through NSC's 50 percent acquisition of BlueScope's interest in the businesses after allowing for taxes, minority interests and transaction costs. BlueScope will continue to consolidate the business for financial reporting purposes. The cash consideration received from NSC will be recognised within equity, therefore no gain or loss on this transaction will be recorded in the income statement.

The joint venture will comprise BlueScope's current building products businesses in ASEAN (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei) and North America (Steelscape and ASC Profiles). The footprint of this business also covers Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines. The business presently employs approximately 3,000 people.

NSC and BlueScope will each hold 50 percent of a new joint venture company, headquartered in Singapore. BlueScope will appoint the chief executive of NS BlueScope Coated Products. NSC will appoint the chairman and a number of key executives to assist with business development and the introduction of new technology and products. The transaction is expected to complete in the March 2013 quarter, once regulatory approvals have been obtained.

The JV does not include BlueScope's building products businesses in Australia, China and India, or its Global Building Solutions business that operates across the world (including in ASEAN countries).

BlueScope Steel is the leading steel company in Australia and New Zealand, supplying a large percentage of all flat steel products sold in these markets. The company's products play a big part in people's everyday lives, being vital components in suburban houses, landmark buildings and structures and popular makes of cars.

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