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Nisshin Steel to form tie-up with Spain's Acerinox.

TOKYO, Jan. 31 Kyodo

Japanese steelmaker Nisshin Steel Co. and Spain's Acerinox S.A., the world's No. 3 steelmaker, will launch a technological tie-up involving stainless steel projects for automobiles, sources close to the deal said Wednesday.

The move is aimed at providing Japanese automakers expanding their operations in Europe and the United States with the same steel materials they use at home, the sources said.

Nisshin Steel, Japan's sixth-largest steelmaker and the top manufacturer of stainless steel plates, apparently hopes to boost competitiveness in its main business through the tie-up. In Japan, Nisshin Steel teams up with Nippon Steel Corp., Japan's biggest steelmaker, in handling stainless steel projects.

Nisshin Steel and Acerinox also plan to team up to develop products together, launch new projects and deal with environmental issues, the sources said.

The two companies are also considering having North American Stainless, an Acerinox subsidiary based in Kentucky involved in the tie-up in a bid to promote business with Japanese auto manufacturers based in North America.

Nisshin Steel purchased Acerinox 178,000 shares late last year, increasing its stakes in the Spanish steelmaker to 11%.

Nisshin Steel hopes to resume talks on a frozen plan to integrate stainless steel operations with Nippon Steel. Nisshin Steel shelved the plan late last year due to falling revenues from businesses excluding stainless products.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Feb 4, 2002
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