Nucor Corp.: Reinforcing its Position

July 2, 2008
Recycling giant builds rebar business and cements its claim as the No. 1 U.S. steel processor.

With each acquisition, business partnership and new facility, Charlotte-based Nucor Corp. solidifies itself as the largest steel producer in the United States and strengthens its ever-expanding presence worldwide. Over the past year, the 2008 IW 50 Best Manufacturer has gobbled up smaller steel producers and stretched its reach across the United States and worldwide with joint ventures and plans for new plant construction.

The most-recent growth-driven move came in early June when the company said it signed an agreement to purchase Ambassador Steel Corp. The Auburn, Ind., fabricator and distributor of reinforcing steel, is the latest addition to Nucors growing rebar business. In September 2007 the company formed a joint venture with Barker Steel Company Inc. to combine the two manufacturers' rebar fabrication operations in the Northeastern United States.

Nucor also is making moves upstream to gain more control over raw materials costs. On May 15, the company said it applied for a permit to build an iron-making facility along the Mississippi River in Louisiana. While the site location is pending approval from Nucor's board, the company named John Farris, an employee with the company since 1992, vice president and general manager of the proposed plant. Farris has been a vice president of Nucor since 2006. He has been general manager of Nucor's bar mill in Marion, Ohio, since 2005 and previously worked as a manager at Nucor's bar mill in Jewett, Texas.

"Based on John's strong management experience, he will provide effective leadership for Nucor's first blast furnace and coke oven operation," said Dan DiMicco, president and CEO, in a June 19 statement. "John's first task will be to build the management team for this project. We are confident John will build a capable, experienced management team to lead this new project."

Nucor Corp.
At A Glance

Nucor Corp.
Charlotte, N.C.
Primary Industry: Primary Metals
Number of Employees: 18,000
2007 In Review
Revenue: $16.6 billion
Profit Margin: 8.81%
Sales Turnover: 1.69
Inventory Turnover: 9.82
Revenue Growth: 12.49%
Return On Assets: 18.67%
Return On Equity: 30.50%

Nucor has also sought opportunities abroad, including a joint-venture partnerships formed in May with Switzerland-based Duferco Group to produce beams in Italy and sell them in Europe and North Africa. The company also said in May it signed an agreement with Sidenor S.A., the largest steel producer in Greece, to manufacture and sell long steel products and plate in the Balkans, Turkey, Cyprus and North Africa.

Less than a month before entering into the global partnerships, American Metal Market ranked Nucor the No. 1 steel producer in the nation. The company topped the list with more than 22 million tons of steel produced. If Nucor continues at its current expansion pace, a challenge for the No. 1 worldwide production ranking might not be far behind.

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About the Author

Jonathan Katz | Former Managing Editor

Former Managing Editor Jon Katz covered leadership and strategy, tackling subjects such as lean manufacturing leadership, strategy development and deployment, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, and growth strategies. As well, he provided news and analysis of successful companies in the chemical and energy industries, including oil and gas, renewable and alternative.

Jon worked as an intern for IndustryWeek before serving as a reporter for The Morning Journal and then as an associate editor for Penton Media’s Supply Chain Technology News.

Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Kent State University and is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

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