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Wieland Group acquires Global Brass and Copper

Global Brass and Copper Holdings Inc. (GBC), Schaumburg, Illinois, and Wieland-Werke AG, Ulm, Germany, have entered into a definitive merger agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Wieland will acquire all the outstanding shares of GBC in an all-cash transaction. GBC shareholders will receive $44 per share in cash representing a 27 percent premium to the company’s closing price as of April 9.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019 and is subject to certain required regulatory approvals, according to a news release issued by the Wieland Group.

GBC, through its wholly owned principal operating subsidiary, Global Brass and Copper Inc., is a leading, value-added converter, fabricator, processor and distributor of specialized nonferrous products in North America. Its products include a wide range of sheet, strip, foil, rod, tube and fabricated metal components that are sold under the Olin Brass, Chase Brass and A.J. Oster brand names. Its products are used in a variety of applications across diversified markets, including the building and housing, munitions, automotive, transportation, coinage, electronics/electrical components, industrial machinery and equipment and general consumer markets.

Wieland describes itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers of semifinished copper and copper alloy products. With a global network of production sites, service and trading companies, it offers a broad product, technology and service portfolio serving the automotive, electronics, refrigeration, air conditioning and other industries.

The transaction will merge the operations of two complementary companies with diverse product offerings across copper and copper alloy strip and sheet, rod, foil, wire, tube and fabricated components, creating a global leader in the red metals industry serving customers in North America, Europe and Asia, Wieland says.

Both companies also share a commitment to technology and research and development (R&D) and to providing innovative offerings and solutions, the press release states, enabling the combined business to collaborate in unique ways with customers.

The combined business will have a manufacturing, service and distribution network that consists of more than 90 facilities.

“The combination of two companies with very complementary strengths and geographical footprints will enable us to provide long-term supply security for our increasingly global customers who need a reliable partner to enable their growth,” Erwin Mayr, CEO of Wieland-Werke AG, says. “Building on a strong strategic and cultural fit, the newly formed team will empower our customers’ and employees’ success, globally.”

Fritz-Jürgen Heckmann, chairman of the supervisory board of Wieland-Werke AG, adds, “This is a unique opportunity in the 200-year history of the Wieland Group as the combined company will be able to build on a legacy of leadership for long-term success with a truly global footprint that creates opportunities for customers and employees.”

“The combination of these two complementary leaders will allow us to more efficiently serve our customers now and well into the future,” says John Wasz, GBC president and CEO. “Equally as important, our collective dedication to safety, R&D, innovation and value creation will benefit our customers and create unique opportunities for the new organization.”

Chinese government prepares path for nonferrous scrap imports

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China, which has played a prominent role in restricting scrap commodity imports into that nation, says second-half 2019 import license applications for eight types of scrap materials, including aluminum and copper, could start being accepted in late May. (Recycling Today was unable to verify this as of press time.)

According to the Brussels-based Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the announcement was made during a speech by an MEE staff member at a conference in Ningbo, China, April 19. That event was hosted by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA).

The MEE staff member indicated “import licenses would be strictly examined and approved in accordance with the relevant requirements” in MEE’s regulatory code.

The agency’s focus appears to have shifted away from the scrutiny of overseas firms to an examination of the ability of importing firms in China to properly handle the scrap materials.

The MEE presentation pointed to the agency requiring proof that an importing company “shall be actually engaged in the processing and utilization” of scrap and that the importing company is legally entitled to do so.

The importing company will have to prove it “has the site, facilities, equipment and supporting pollution prevention facilities and measures for processing and applying the imported [scrap] and [can] meet the requirements of national or local environmental protection standards.”

Importing companies within China seeking licenses “shall submit an application electronically to the MEE through the National Solid Waste Management Information System and, at the same time, shall submit the same information in a paper-based application,” according to the agency.

The news release issued by the BIR states that provincial environmental protection bureaus in China could accept scrap import applications starting in late May. The central government MEE will “officially accept and approve import applications from July 1,” according to the BIR.