May 22, 2019 / 11:53 AM / 6 months ago

Smelter Aurubis buys recycler Metallo in move beyond copper

HAMBURG, May 22 (Reuters) - Aurubis, Europe’s biggest copper smelter, said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy Belgian-Spanish recycling company Metallo Group for 380 million euros ($424 million) as part of an acquisition-led shift into other metals.

“Due to megatrends such as smart homes, e-mobility, digitalisation and renewable energies, both the quantity and the complexity of secondary raw materials will increase significantly,” Aurubis Chief Executive Juergen Schachler said.

Metallo, which is being sold by funds managed by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, specialises in recycling of difficult materials with low metal content and has attractive growth potential, Aurubis said.

With around 530 employees at its main sites in Belgium and Spain, Metallo generated revenues of about 985 million euros in the fiscal year 2018, the German company added.

Aurubis completed its purchase of the remaining shares in copper wire and rod maker Deutsche Giessdraht last July and Schachler said in February it was still seeking acquisitions.

Schachler, who leaves Aurubis at the end of June, has begun an expansion into other metals alongside copper and Metallo’s recycling includes nickel, tin, zinc and lead as well as copper.

“Metallo’s processing expertise and specific metallurgical know-how provide an excellent complement to Aurubis’ own strengths,” Schachler said.

Aurubis said in a statement that the closing of the deal is subject to clearance by merger control authorities and is expected to take place towards the end of the year. ($1 = 0.8954 euros) (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Alexander Smith)

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