Rinat Akhmetov’s Metinvest enters Romanian market


The company officials aim sales of USD 200 million this year.

Despite political divergences between Russia and Ukraine, the latter continues its development strategies and sees a great potential for investment in … Romania. Ukraine’s largest steelmaker, Metinvest, owned by the country’s wealthiest richest businessman, Rinat Akhmetov, is present in Romania from yesterday, when it opened its commercial subsidiary – Metinvest Carpathia. It will develop collaboration between purchasers of laminate steel materials and offer operational services, company officials announced in a press conference. Romania is the 22nd country where Metinvest Group opened a commercial agency.
“Our perspective for Europe, especially for Romania is strongly related to our self-sufficiency in terms of resources. We process iron ore into finished products for our clients. Our 2013 turnover stood at EUR 13 billion, and our steel production amounted to 12 billion tonnes. The fact that we have consolidated businesses in Ukraine and the purchase of business in Bulgaria, the United Kingdom and Italy persuaded us that we must better know our clients. We have chosen Romania, and we will not stop here. Our journey goes on,” said David Summerfield (photo L), Director of Regional Development in Sales Directorate, Metinvest Holding.
Furthermore, Metinvest Carpathia General Director Veselin Socolov mentioned that the decision of opening offices in Romania was based on the country’s positive economic results last year, and on the 2014 forecasts. Romania’s economy grew by 3.5 percent of GDP last year. This inevitably led to an increase of the demand for steel. There were moments of excellent cooperation between steel producers and finished steel products purchasers in Romania in the past. Apparently, 2.2 million tonnes of steel products went to export last year, and 2.6 million tonnes were imported. Based on these data, we can say Metinvest is a natural supplier for Romania’s steel market, Socolov declared. For the moment, Metinvest, which presented itself as a vertically integrated group of steel and mining companies, has no future plans in Romania, in the sense of large acquisitions or opening deposits, but the company official said that in the first year could be imported metallurgical products of about USD 200 million. In the local comercial sales office will work seven employees. The activity of the Romanian subsidiary aims at ensuring the continuous development of collaboration with companies in the construction, machinery, and pipe production industries. A single operational channel will be available for customers to interact with Metinvest, allowing them to place orders ‘packages’ that combine several types of metal products. The Romanian market steel intake is roughly 2.5 million tonnes per year, the largest in south-eastern Europe.
Metinvest’s decision to open office in Romania comes as the local steel industry has been facing difficulties in the last five years. ArcelorMittal, the largest steelmaker in the world, which also owns Romania’s largest steel plant reduced its production and posted heavy losses, while Russian group Mechel, which had five steel plants in Romania, gave them away practically for free and existed the market. Some of those plants are now insolvent.