Beta Steel to be acquired by Russian steel giant

Novolipetsk Steel, one of Russia’s largest steel companies, said yesterday that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Beta Steel Corp., a Portage-based minimill producer of hot rolled coil, for $400 million.

Novolipetsk said it would pair Beta with its August acquisition of John Maneely Co., a Collingswood, N.J., pipe maker that operates a tube manufacturing operation near Beta’s headquarters. More than 35 percent of Beta production is sold to pipe and tube producers.

Novolipetsk is owned by billionaire Vladimir Lisin.

Fueled by record profits, Novolipetsk and other Russian steelmakers have snapped up 10 percent of steelmaking capacity in the U.S. in the past few years, according to MetalPrices.com.

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