Bekaert is a world market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coatings technologies, headquartered in Belgium with over 30,000 employees worldwide and €4 bn in annual revenue. Bekaert serves customers across a multitude of sectors with a unique portfolio of drawn steel wire products with applications in cars, trucks, elevator, mines, tunnels ,bridges, home office, machines and offshore.
The purchase of the global Pirelli steel cord activities is the largest acquisition in the history of Bekaert. This strengthens Bekaert’s status as a preferred supplier to the tire industry, increases their global market share in steel cord for tires to approximately 30% and will positively impact the product mix as of the beginning of 2015. Bekaert expansion plans continued in the year 2014 with investment in new manufacturing plants in Costa Rica, India and Russia. Company further strengthened its partnerships with other global players, such as with ArcelorMittal in Costa Rica and Ecuador, with Maccaferri in a global selling and distribution network for underground infrastructure works, and with Bekaert’s Chilean partners in establishing a global Bekaert Rope Group.
Through its affiliate Wire Rope Industries, the company established a production facility in Belton (Texas, US) to manufacture steel ropes and will leverage its technological and manufacturing competences for the oil and gas sector under the operational management of Bekaert’s Canadian Wire Rope Industries organization. Bekaert recently successfully launched ternary Cu-Zn-Co coated tire cord that makes it possible for tire makers to create cobalt-free rubber compounds. This will help eliminate the rubber compounding process and reduce the amount of cobalt in the total supply chain of tire.
During the year company announced the divestment of its Carding business and signed an agreement regarding the sale of its Carding Solutions to Groz-Beckert, a global company in Albstadt, Germany. The deal involved the employees and assets of the activity platform. As part of this transaction, the companies entered into a long-term supply agreement of Bekaert steel wire to Groz-Beckert.
One of the recent development includes announcement of its acquisition of the wire rope business of Arrium Ltd in Newcastle, Australia. The transaction is estimated to add € 40 million to Bekaert's consolidated sales and has an enterprise value of approximately € 60 million.