Esmark Buys Amtex for $10 Million


November 16, 2009,

Esmark Inc., which sold its steel assets to Russia’s OAO Severstal last year for about $775 million, has re-entered the metal-distribution business with the purchase of Amtex Steel Inc. for $10 million.

Amtex is a processing and distribution company based in University Park, Illinois, that focuses on flat-rolled and bar products used in light manufacturing and durable goods, closely held Esmark said today in an e-mailed statement.

Esmark said it will pursue more acquisitions of steel service centers with cash on hand and aims to have $250 million in annual steel revenue by the end of 2010. Amtex, which has more than 70 employees, will be renamed Chicago Steel & Iron.

Brothers Craig and James Bouchard started Esmark in 2003 with an investment of $2.4 million. They built Chicago-based Esmark into the fourth-largest U.S. steelmaker through nine acquisitions that expanded sales from $4 million to $3 billion. Esmark retained its name and became closely held after the steel assets were sold to Severstal in August 2008.