2008-05-26



May 26, 2008 - Ansteel and Bekaert announce partnership

Ansteel, a leader in the Chinese steel industry and one of the world’s top steel producers, and Bekaert, global market and technological leader in advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the terms of a close partnership between the two companies in the future.

Both companies have agreed to explore strategic cooperation projects in order to address more effectively the growing demand for advanced wire products on the Chinese market. The combination of Ansteel, a large, innovative, high-grade steel producer with high growth ambitions and a strong understanding of the needs of the Chinese market, and Bekaert, with its recognized technology and solid activity platforms in China, should create a new and successful pillar, supporting the further development and leadership position of both companies.

Mr. Zhang Xiaogang, Chairman and CEO of Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (Ansteel) and Mr. Bert De Graeve, CEO of Bekaert, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Shenyang on May 24, 2008.

Mr. Zhang of Ansteel said: "We have had an outstanding relationship with Bekaert for many years. Now, we want to expand that relationship into a strong partnership with a world leader in advanced wire products. Bringing together the operational excellence, leadership position and common interests of both companies, we believe this partnership shall support the further development and sustainability of China's industrial growth."

Mr. De Graeve of Bekaert said: "Bekaert is fully committed to the industrial development of China. In Ansteel, we have an excellent partner which has always been a reliable supplier of wire rod to Bekaert and which, in its achievements, goals and spirit of enterprise, perfectly complements Bekaert's strategy of sustainable profitable growth and its better together philosophy.  Mr. Zhang and myself share the willingness to build a solid strategic partnership."

Bekaert emphasizes that the partnership with Ansteel will not affect any of the company's relationships and cooperation programs with other partners.

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