Nippon Steel’s president, Eiji Hashimoto, has indicated that the company is looking for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) with firms in other countries.
Speaking at a media conference, Hashimoto said that the move is aimed at expanding the Japanese steelmaker’s capacity from 65mn mt to 100mn mt. The firm aims to be the largest steelmaker in Asia by market capitalization, excluding China. Hashimoto added that key markets for these M&As were India, The US, and other Asian countries.
The company recently shut six of its 15 blast furnaces (BFs) in Japan due to a 30pc lower demand for steel products because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Hashimoto indicated that Nippon may resume operations at these BFs soon, owing to a faster-than-expected economic recovery in East Asia.
The M&As are also aimed at consolidating Nippon’s business profitability in the current market environment, which led to the company’s biggest Q1 loss in eight years.