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SSI partners bring long-term stability.

SSI has strengthened its financial and market position after striking a vital $50m partnership agreement.

The Redcar steel plant owner has announced that it has signed a deal with JFE Steel Corporation and Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc.

JFE and MISI will both invest $25m each - around PS15.5m - in SSI new ordinary shares.

The announcement is part of SSI's Comprehensive Financial Plan, announced last month which will enable SSI and its subsidiaries to maintain financial stability in the short-term and long-term.

JFE and MISI will increase their stake in the existing joint venture company, Thai Cold Rolled Steel Sheet Public Company Limited, by buying shares from SSI.

After completion of the deal, SSI and JFE will each hold 36.04% of the shares in TCRSS, and MISI 25.10%.

Also, JFE will provide technical assistance for producing stable supplies of cold rolled steel sheets to meet the growing demand of the Thai automotive industry.

To strengthen the huge business partnership, the three firms agreed that JFE shall support SSI Group with continuous steel supply, which provides additional raw material stability for SSI.

The three firms predict growing demand in the ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations - market, especially in high grade steel for the automobile industry.

Win Viriyaprapaikit, group CEO and president of SSI, said the partnership agreement deepens the strategic alliance and the commitment between the partners, which will result in better products and service for the customers.

"The first pillar of our growth is upstream integration, which started with the successful restart of SSI Teesside plant in the UK and is providing the raw material security to our business. "The second pillar of growth is downstream integration - this business partnership provides us with the technology and access to the growing high-end market.

"We are fundamentally transforming our business to be able to better serve our customers and capture the opportunities in this growing Asean market."

Phil Dryden, chief executive for SSI UK, said: "This follows on from last month's announcement regarding a Comprehensive Financial Plan and is further evidence of the steps being taken to give short and long term financial stability to SSI.

"It also represents the strengthening of the partnership, taking advantage of the long term opportunities of a growing automotive market in Thailand."

"We are fundamentally transforming our business to be able to better serve our customers and capture the opportunities in this growing Asean market."

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- Win Viriyaprapaikit, left, group CEO and president of SSI
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2012
Words:411
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