Brazil’s Gerdau to Form Venture With Sumitomo, Japan Steel Works

  • Cos targeting sales of steel products to wind energy sector
  • Joint venture still subject to approval from regulators

Gerdau SA, Brazil’s biggest steelmaker by market value, will form a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp. and Japan Steel Works Ltd. in a bid to boost sales of steel parts to industries including the wind energy sector.

The deal was approved by Gerdau’s board Wednesday and is subject to regulatory approval, the Porto Alegre, Brazil-based company said in a statement. Shares gained 1.2 percent to 3.32 reais at 1:29 p.m. in Sao Paulo.

Steelmakers globally are seeking ways to navigate an oversupplied market, ranging from forming partnerships, to idling plants and lobbying governments to step up anti-dumping measures.

Brazil, which is enduring the worst recession in decades, is considering increasing import taxes and offering compensation to help struggling domestic steelmakers, Trade Minister Armando Monteiro said earlier this month.

Allegations that Gerdau participated in a corruption scheme to avoid taxes has added to the company’s woes in recent weeks. Gerdau says it never made any illicit payments to officials.

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