Esmark Buys Chicago Heights Steel Specialty Firm

January 6, 2005, Post-Tribune (Gary, Ind.), Post-Tribune Staff Report

CHICAGO— Esmark Inc., a steel services company that includes Electric Coating Technologies of East Chicago, has completed the purchase of the assets of Century Steel LLC in Chicago Heights, Ill., for $40 million.

Century Steel is a flat rolled steel specialist with annual revenues of $130 million. The company sells about 200,000 tons of steel annually made at its 25-acre 300,000-square-foot processing facility.

This acquisition comes on the heels of Esmark’s acquisition of Electric Coat Technologies and Sun Steel, also in Chicago Heights, in February 2004.

Esmark CEO James P. Bouchard said the addition of Century Steel to the Esmark family of companies is a key component of its long-term strategy to become one of the nation’s largest distributors of cold rolled and coated steel.”

“Century Steel is a leader in the Midwest steel services market. It has also been a well-managed, family-owned Chicago business for over 65 years and we’re honored that the Hokin and Reid families chose Esmark to carry on its tradition,” noted Bouchard.

Bouchard said that as part of the acquisition William Ristau will continue as president of Century Steel and assume the position of chief commercial officer of Esmark Inc.

Electric Coating Technologies, a metals coatings and finishing concern, and Sun Steel, a cold-rolled steel service center, became operating units of Chicago-based holding company Esmark Inc., formed to hold the Bouchard Group’s steel industry assets.

Bouchard said Esmark’s goal is to create a family of tightly-integrated companies and strategic partnerships that will operate its cold-rolled, hot-rolled and coated steel operations at full capacity.

The Esmark subsidiaries will be independently managed, Bouchard said.