Interseroh Enters US Steel Recycling Market

Cologne Service Provider and Raw Materials Trader Pulls its 25% Option

Köln, (PresseBox) - Following the cooperation agreement on a strategic alliance signed in April 2007, the German stock-listed services and raw materials trading group Interseroh exercises its option to acquire a 25 percent share in the US steel recycling and scrap trading company ProTrade Group LLC, Hudson/Ohio. Last year’s cooperation agreement allows for the share to be increased to 75 percent in the medium term.

This enables Interseroh’s steel and metals recycling segment to enter the US steel scrap market – with a volume of approximately 60 million tons per year the world’s largest. For the recycling activities clustered in the ProTrade Group, the investment means a strengthening of its own financial power to further expand its position in the United States as well as a continuous transfer of know-how in the fields of production, technology and environment.

The US company realigned itself in the last few years: The steel and metal scrap trading activities were expanded by several production sites for treatment and processing as well as by several collection and trans-shipment centers. Among others, a WEEE treatment plant in Florida and two shredder locations in the Midwest as well as several trading offices in this region and on the East Cost belong to the group. Established in 1994, the US company now treats and trades over one million tons of steel scrap per year. The turnover amounted to 250 million dollars per year on average during the last three years.

"With this acquisition, Interseroh gains access to the US scrap market. Due to the dimensions of this market, decisions setting the trend for the market itself and for the pricing in the steel and metal scrap sector are often taken here", explained Interseroh’s CEO Johannes-Jürgen Albus the group’s recent step. "Interseroh will further pursue its internationalization", said Albus.

Member of the Board colleague Christian Rubach, responsible for the steel and metal recycling business, said: "We are following our customers, the steel mills, in this market of continued consolidation and concentration. Not least the trading competence of ProTrade is an important aspect of the cooperation, for example with regard to the overseas exports of steel and metal scrap to Europe and Asia."

Jack Kessick, CEO of the US steel and metals recycler, sees many advantages in the alliance with Interseroh: "Already today, after less than a year of highly constructive cooperation, we are benefiting from this leading European company. Interseroh enables us to realize the growth we are aiming for. With regard to production and environmental protection, we count on the German expertise in order to further optimize our processes and to support their effect on sustainability."

The Cologne-based Interseroh Group with over 70 locations and some 1,700 employees in Germany and Europe stands for high-quality recycling and a modern sustainable economy. Its activities cover the collection, transportation, treatment and recycling of empty packaging, end-of-life products and scrap metals in several European countries.

Interseroh is therefore able to supply the industry with valuable secondary raw materials for its production which are traded throughout the world, frequently making a contribution to climate protection. In 2006, the secondary raw materials trading volume totalled over five million tonnes.

Around 50 sites are at present part of the steel and metals recycling segment of the group, active predominantly in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. The activities of this segment are managed by Interseroh Hansa Recyling GmbH in Dortmund. Around 3.3 million tons of steel and metal scrap were treated and traded by the group in 2006, making it one of the Top 3 German steel scrap recycling companies and one of the Top 3 non-ferrous scrap traders in Europe. In the year 2007, the volume of steel and metal scrap traded was increased to over 3.5 million tons, following a number of acquisitions in Germany and the Netherlands.

During the first nine months of the business year 2007, the stock-listed company stood its ground very well. In this period, the group’s consolidated turnover amounted to 1,336.6 million euros an increase by 46.7 percent from 910.9 million euros compared to the same period in 2006. It thus increased in only three quarters to over the threshold of 1.2 billion euros, the total turnover of 2006 (a plus 31 percent compared to 2005). The turnover in the steel and metals recycling segment increased from 946.7 million euros in January to September 2007, in 2006 the total turnover had been 900 million euros in this segment.

The EBT of the whole Interseroh group rose from 24.3 million euros by 94.7 percent to 47.3 million euros in the first three quarters of 2007. In 2006, the earnings before taxes had been 41.1 million euros (a plus of 37 percent compared to the previous year).

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