Tata Steel to Acquire Singapore’s Natsteel for $486m

The Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (“Tata Steel”) announced today that it has signed Definitive Agreements with NatSteel Limited (“NatSteel”), Singapore to acquire all of NatSteel's steel business for cash subject to regulatory approvals.

NatSteel will spin off its entire steel business into a wholly owned subsidiary, NatSteel Asia Pte Ltd (“NatSteel Asia”) subsequent to which Tata Steel will acquire 100% of the equity interest in NatSteel Asia. The enterprise value of the acquisition is Singapore $ 486.4 million (approximately Rupees 13,130 million).

Under the terms of the agreement the enterprise value is subject to certain adjustments including those for any net debt, minority interest, other liabilities and for working capital variance relative to S$ 225 million.

NatSteel is the dominant steel producer of Singapore and owns steel mills in China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia. The business is focused on long products and has a cumulative capacity to produce about 2 million tons per annum of rebars, wire rods, pre-stressed concrete wires and strands. The acquisition also includes a 26% equity interest owned by NatSteel in Southern Steel Berhad, a 1.3 million ton steelmaker in Malaysia. The transaction is expected to close in 5-6 months after obtaining all regulatory approvals. For the year 2003, the steel business reported a turnover of S$ 1.4 billion (Rupees 38.2 billion) and a profit before tax of S$ 47 million (Rupees 1.27 billion).

The acquisition is a significant step in Tata Steel's globalisation initiative and will act as a beachhead investment for Tata Steel in the high growth geographies of China and South East Asia. Through this transaction, Tata Steel will increase its manufacturing footprint to 7 new countries in Asia. The acquisition has a strong strategic fit with Tata Steel's current expansion plans and there are likely to be significant synergy benefits in the future as a consequence of the transaction.

Commenting on the transaction, Mr. B. Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel said, “The acquisition of the steel business of NatSteel is an important step in Tata Steel's plans to build a global business. NatSteel's business provides Tata Steel access to key Asian steel markets including China. I believe that the acquisition will prove to be a good strategic fit and create value for Tata Steel shareholders. I welcome members of NatSteel's management team and all employees to the Tata Steel family.”

Mr. Oo Soon Hee, President of NatSteel, said, “With this transaction, NatSteel Asia will be well-positioned to weather the volatilities in the steel industry because it will be part of a much larger, fully integrated steel group with extensive resources. As part of Tata Steel, NatSteel Asia will be able to benefit from a much larger footprint in the steel industry as well as have access to significant resources, enabling us to further expand within Asia.”

The Corporate Advisory Group of Standard Chartered Bank was the exclusive financial advisor to Tata Steel on the transaction. Baker & McKenzie and AZB & Partners were the legal advisers to the transaction, while Deloitte & Touche Singapore were the Accountants to the transaction.

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Posted August 17th. 2004

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