The Grey Chronicles

2009.July.10

Understanding GSHL



Whenever one sees a write-up about Global Steel, almost all these news articles found on the Web, or on printed media, would include the following line:

“Global Steel operates and manages about 14 million tons of steel-making capacity and associated businesses in mining, energy and logistics in various parts of the world, such as Bosnia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Bulgaria, Libya, Nigeria and the Philippines.”

Some of the authors of these articles, including Philippine reporters, would even venture to claim, mistakenly, that GSHL or GIHL is one of the biggest or that it controls about 52 percent, yes—they wrote 52 percent—of the world’s total steel production, which this blog asked: How Responsible is the Responsible Media? Others would even amplify the mistake that Ispat Industries, Ltd. and GSHL, or GIHL for that matter, are one and the same, despite of news reports, such as:

“Global Steel Holdings, an international investment arm of the Ispat group, has emerged as the controlling shareholder of Ispat Industries with a 54.32 per cent stake. … According to the annual report of Ispat Industries for 2004-05, few Ispat group companies have become subsidiaries of Global Steel Holdings, helping the company to have the largest shareholding in Ispat Industries. … Its subsidiaries include Ispat Steel Holdings, Ispat Holdings (P), Ispat Finance, Mudra Ispat, Denro Holding (P), Mita Holdings (P), Goldline Tracom (P), Gontermann Peipers India, GPI Investments (P), GPI Textiles, Kartik Credit (P), Kamrup Fabricators (P), Rajgarh Trading Co (P), Sanvatsari Investments (P), Ushaditya Investments (P), Waterloo Trade & Commerce (P), Dankuni Investments.” (Business Standard, 2005)

The Global Steel Holdings Ltd. [GSHL], the mother company of Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc. [GSPI], came into being as Global Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. [GIHL]. The latter was formed in 2003 when Pramod Mittal partnered with the Bosnian government to run a 1.4-million-ton per year [Mtpy] coke plant in Lukavac, 125 km from Sarajevo. GIHL formed a company called Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Ltd [GIKIL] to execute a five-year agreement.

In 2005, Pramod Mittal incorporates Global Steel Holdings Ltd. [GSHL] in tax haven Isle of Man, headquarters in the northern town of Ramsay (Handique, LiveMint, 2008).

Ayorinde (2006), writing for The News, states:

“The main problem seems to be that many people unwittingly confuse him with his hugely successful older brother, Laxmi (sic) Mittal , whereas he (Laxmi) [or more correctly: Lakshmi] runs a completely different company [i.e., ArcelorMittal] with no link whatsoever to Pramod Mittal’s Global Steel.” [Emphasis added.]

Mohan Lal MittalProbably. Both companies, ArcelorMittal and Global Steel, however, trace its history from a common beginning. Ispat Group, Ispat is Hindi for steel, was founded by Mohan Lal Mittal, the first Indian to set up an overseas steel plant – PT Ispat Indo in Indonesia in 1974, began his foray into the Iron and Steel business by starting a rolling mill in Kolkata, India in 1952. In 1989, the Ispat Group acquired the Iron and Steel Co. of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1991, it took over Sidemgical Del Balsar SA, Mexico [Sibalsa].

Brief Chronology of Ispat GroupAs part of the privatization of Mexico’s steel industry, its third largest steel producer, Sibalsa, is acquired by Ispat and renamed Ispat Mexicana. Today, Sibalsa is known as Mittal Steel Lázaro Cardenas, one of the world’s largest producers of DRI and lowest-cost, highest-quality slab producers (ArcelorMittal, Highlights 1992).

Caribbean Ispat was formed to lease the Iron & Steel Company of Trinidad & Tobago. Caribbean Ispat makes a profit in its first year. In 1994, Lakshmi’s Ispat International buys the assets of Caribbean Ispat (renamed Mittal Steel Point Lisas), now the largest non-oil industrial complex in the Caribbean. In 1999, it opens the largest DRI Midrex plant in the world (ArcelorMittal, Highlights 1989).

By 1994, two separate groups emerged, one led by Lakshmi N. Mittal, and the other by Pramod Mittal and Vinod Mittal. Yet, viewing Ispat Industries Ltd.’s [IIL] web site, it states: “Business interests within the Ispat Group are demarcated. The eldest son, Lakshmi N. Mittal continues to manage the international operations while Mr. Pramod Mittal and Mr. Vinod Mittal, the younger brothers focus on steel and other businesses in India.” Analysts claimed that this was triggered when Lakshmi N. Mittal formed LNM Steel, the precursor of Mittal Steel. Richard Orange (2008) writing from Mumbai, observes:

“When Lakshmi Mittal split off the international arm of the family steel business in 1995, going against the wishes of his father Mohan Lal Mittal, he was estranged from his younger brother Pramod for the rest of the decade, it turns out. But this never made it into public view. … The lack of open conflict between the two Mittal brothers is helped by the continuing influence of the father.”

Pramod MittalLakshmi MittalSince 1995, the two Groups have run their operations and businesses separately, although there were times that they would meet on opposite sides of the same negotiations table, such as in Liberia, Bulgaria, and the Philippines, to name a few.

Lakshmi’s ArcelorMittal now produces more than three times as much steel as Nippon Steel, its nearest competitor in the global steel industry. Pramod’s two companies, Global Steel Holdings and Ispat Industries, on the other hand, don’t even register among the top 30.

 

Top 20 Steel Producing Companies 2006-2007IISI (2008) reported for 2007, ArcelorMittal produced 116.4 million metric tons [Mmt] versus 35.7Mmt for Nippon Steel. Global Steel Holdings, moreover, ranked 67th falling one place the previous year, produced 4.4Mmt. The total world crude steel production for 2007 was estimated at 1,344.2Mmt, thus ArcelorMittal at the top spot—nearly equivalent to Japan’s production at 120.2Mmt of steel—only amounted to 8.66% of the world’s steel production; and Global Steel Holdings at 0.327% of the total. Recent report from World Steel (2009) shows that Global Steel is no longer among the top 80 companies in 2008!

Vivek Sharma (2008) blogs:

“Unfazed by their troubles at Ispat Industries, brothers Pramod and Vinod decided to copy elder brother Lakshmi and bought run-down steel mills abroad. Their company Global Steel bought assets in Nigeria, Libya and Bulgaria. But, they never managed to turn around these mills like their illustrious brother did at many countries from Eastern Europe to the Caribbean. The lack of success didn’t prevent Pramod Mittal from professing his ambition to catch up with elder brother Lakshmi Mittal.”

At the rate of Lakshmi Mittal expanding his steel empire, one would wonder whether Pramod Mittal really can catch up? Always loving the underdog, probably Pramod could, if he could muster the buy-out at least five of the top-ten steel producers, just like what Tata Steel had done.


Notes:

ArcelorMittal (2009). Mittal Steel Highlights 1989, History of Mittal Steel On-line: ArcelorMittal, Accessed 01 July 2009. back to text

ArcelorMittal (2009). Mittal Steel Highlights 1992, History of Mittal Steel On-line: ArcelorMittal, Accessed 01 July 2009. back to text

Ayorinde, Oluokun (2006). How Genuine Is Pramod?. Place: The News, 07 November 2006. back to text

Business Standard (2005). Global Steel holds 54% in Ispat. Mumbai: Business Standard, 07 September 2005. back to text

Handique, Maitreyee (2008). Global Steel owes salaries, answers. New Delhi: LiveMint, The Wall Street Journal, 02 April 2008. back to text

International Iron and Steel Institute [IISI] (2008). World Steel in Figures 2008. Brussels: International Iron and Steel Institute, June 2008. p. 6-8. back to text

Orange, Richard (2008). He’s too heavy, he’s my brother: why India’s family firms are fated to become factions. London: Independent News and Media Limited, 22 June 2008. back to text

Sharma, Vivek (2008). The Other Mittals, The Vivek Sharma Blog. 24 Apr 2008. back to text

World Steel Association (2009). World Steel in Figures 2009. Brussels: World Steel Association, July 2009. p. 8. back to text

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: The posts on this site do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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10 Comments »

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    Comment by work at home — 2009.September.7 @ 13:30 | Reply

  7. Firstly, my compliments on the content of the site. Secondly, thank you for dissecting the cloudy nature of GSHL. GSHL has been kicked out of Ajaokuta/Nigeria, a massive Nigerian steel complex designed to produce 3mtpy of long products (it’s an infamous African “elephant” that hardly ever produced a tonne). GSHL does not “control” Libyan Iron and Steel. GSHL has been totally discredited in Bulgaria; for all intends and purposes GSHL has not control whatsoever there anymore, as Kremikovtzi is under administration. The only steel assets that GSHL genuinely owns or controls are Delta/Nigeria, which produces 20-30klt/month of rebars, Ispat/India, which produces 225-250klt/month of HRC, GIKIL/Bosnia (51%), which produces some 30,000t/month of coke, and GSP. GSP is not fully owned by GSHL, but it is controlled by GSHL. GSHL entered into an agreement with PNB to acquire GSP for 12,500B PHP in 2004 (50% of which in year 8). Only the first few installments have been paid. GSHL won’t own GSP until it has paid all the installments.

    Comment by Anonymous {Removed on Request} — 2009.July.13 @ 08:58 | Reply

    • Just exactly my thoughts. I’m reserving some of these, though for the post’s epilogue. I intended to summarize all the GSHL forays in other countries and what the future holds for GSPI! Keep reading! Thanks a lot!

      Comment by reyadel — 2009.July.13 @ 18:32 | Reply

      • Would you kindly remove my above comment from publication, or at least my first name?

        Comment by Anonymous {Removed on Request} — 2009.July.16 @ 08:53 | Reply

        • Done! Thanks for your comments!

          Comment by reyadel — 2009.July.16 @ 11:03 | Reply


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