Usiminas Rallies on Report Gerdau Mulls Counter Bid for Stake

Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA (USIM3), Brazil’s second-largest steelmaker, rallied in Sao Paulo trading after a news report that Gerdau SA (GGBR4) may seek to make a counter offer for a 26 percent stake in its rival.

Common shares in Usiminas, as the Belo Horizonte, Brazil- based company is known, rose 85 centavos, or 3.6 percent, to 24.50 reais at 10:06 a.m. New York time, leading Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index for a second straight day. Preferred shares, the most-traded type of stock, rose 1.2 percent.

Porto Alegre, Brazil-based Gerdau, Latin America’s largest steelmaker, may seek to counter an offer from Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA to buy the stake in Usiminas from Camargo Correa SA and Votorantim Participacoes SA, O Estado de S. Paulo reported today, without saying where it got the information. Gerdau is in talks with Usiminas shareholder Nippon Steel Corp. (5401) about making a potential bid for the shares, the newspaper said.

CSN, as the Sao Paulo-based company is known, offered to pay 4.3 billion reais to 5.1 billion reais ($2.6 billion to $3 billion) for the 26 percent stake, Estado reported, citing an unidentified person close to Usiminas. CSN said in a regulatory filing late yesterday that news reports about an offer for the Usiminas stake were “groundless.” Usiminas said it has no knowledge of any offer from CSN to buy shares in the company, according to a regulatory filing today.

A Gerdau official in Porto Alegre, who declined to be named citing corporate policy, wouldn’t immediately comment when contacted by Bloomberg News today.

Gerdau lost 23 centavos, or 1.6 percent, to 13.88 reais. CSN, Brazil’s third-largest steelmaker by output, fell 33 centavos, or 2.1 percent, to 15.46 reais.

To contact the reporter on this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto in Rio de Janeiro at jspinetto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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