National Business

Nucor acquires new Indiana mill

Nucor Corp. continues to expand.

The Charlotte steelmaker on Tuesday announced that it has acquired an Indiana steel company and plans to start production at a mill in Arizona.

Nucor's wholly owned subsidiary, Harris Steel Inc., acquired the stock of Ambassador Steel Corp., based in Auburn, Indiana, for about $185 million. The company, founded in 1974, is a fabricator and distributor of concrete reinforcing steel and related products. Last year, it shipped 422,000 tons of fabricated rebar and distributed 228,000 tons of reinforcing steel.

The transaction includes the shares of Ambassador's affiliate, Delta Erecting. Harris Steel also repaid the company's bank debt of about $136 million.

With the acquisition, Nucor's rebar fabrication business has more than doubled since it acquired Harris Steel in March 2007, company officials said in a press release.

Nucor also announced plans to start steel bar production at its previously idle rolling mill in Kingman, Ariz. The company expects to spend about $30 million to restart production and said operations will begin by the second quarter of 2009.

Initial output should be about 250,000 tons. The mill will have the capability to increase annual production to more than 500,000 tons.

Nucor acquired the idled mill in 2003 for about $35 million. The decision to start production is a result of the growing demand in the southwestern U.S., company officials said.