The CEO of Hamburg, Germany-based copper producer Aurubis has reportedly indicated the scrap-consuming company has saved up some €1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) to potentially spend on acquisitions.
An online article credited to Reuters reports that Aurubis CEO Jürgen Schachler, when speaking at an LME (London Metal Exchange) Week event in London in late October 2017, said the company has been able to accumulate the sizable acquisition “war chest” thanks to its low debt level and sound corporate management.
Speaking during a panel discussion, Schachler reportedly said Aurubis had “lots of fire power” and was looking in Europe and South America for transactions that make sense. He indicated the United States market also was in play, since Aurubis is familiar with that market and there is room to add capacity in the secondary copper production sector in the U.S.
In its “Vision 2025” strategic plan, which Aurubis unveiled in March 2017, the company indicates one of the expansion plans it was researching involved branching into the production of metals other than copper. “Copper has always been our main area of expertise, and it will remain a central metal of the Aurubis Group,” said Schachler when introducing Vision 2025. “But we are capable of more: gold and silver, nickel, selenium and other metals have been an established component of our portfolio for a long time now. We are pursuing the next logical step, from a copper producer to a multimetal producer, and will broaden our position in this direction.”
Aurubis currently operates several scrap-to-finished copper smelting and refining facilities, including one in Buffalo, New York in the U.S. The rest are in Europe, located in Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The more than 150-year-old company, when profiled by Recycling Today in 2016, employed about 6,300 people working from 20 production sites (predominantly in Europe) and eight sales offices in Asia. At that time, Aurubis was producing 1 million metric tons of copper cathodes annually while also recovering from scrap and producing silver, gold, sulfuric acid and iron silicate. The company also operates downstream copper production facilities that create continuous cast wire rod, shapes, rolled products and strip and specialty wire and profiles made of copper and copper alloys.