Max Aicher has acquired the assets of insolvent Czech forged steel producer Pilsen Steel, the German group tells Kallanish.

Lesedauer: min

The Czech firm has been in insolvency proceedings since January 2019. It possesses a 70-tonne 150,000 tonnes/year capacity electric arc furnace-based meltshop and a ASEA-SKF ladle furnace. Liquid steel is poured into ingots and castings. The firm has foundry, forge and machining shops. It has 570 employees and supplies the shipbuilding, power generation and nuclear industries, as well as rolling mills.

Until 2010, the company was owned by Russia’s OMZ. Sales of €239 million ($268.5m) and Ebitda of €48.7m in 2008 demonstrate the capacity of the company in its peak years. The next owner, Igor Shamis, was unable to secure sufficient demand and the company’s results substantially deteriorated, according to Tarpan Partners who acted as financial advisor in the insolvency proceedings.

“The macroeconomic crisis, Russian sanctions, and global overcapacity led to insolvency (reorganisation) in 2012-14,” Tarpan says. “Since 2014, the company was owned by its largest 2014 creditor, Vneshekonombank (VEB Kapital), a Russian state institution. The results have not improved since then.”

Pilsen Steel posted sales of €32.7m and negative Ebitda of €23.1m in 2018.

A Max Aicher spokesperson tells Kallanish it is “…currently unable to provide any specific information about the further use of the acquired business.” It first needs to find a consensus with the city of Pilsen and the Czech Ministry of Economy on the future use of the steelworks. “We do respect the location’s longstanding successful industrial tradition and want to combine it with the tradition of Max Aicher in a future-proof way,” the spokesperson adds.

The German firm declined to comment on developments at Slovakia Steel Mills (SSM) since it was acquired in 2018 by Max Aicher’s Hungarian subsidiary, Ozdi Acelmuvek.