KORTRIJK, Belgium (Oct. 15, 2007) — After months of "difficult and protracted" negotiations, N.V. Bekaert S.A. has withdrawn from talks with Russia's ZAO Uralkord on a possible takeover. Magnitogorsk, Russia-based Uralkord produces steel cord products for tire reinforcement for the Russian market.
Bekaert, the world's largest independent producer of steel tire cord, said it became convinced that no agreement could be reached with the current shareholders of ZAO Uralkord that would meet Bekaert's criteria for pursuing its strategy of sustainable profitable growth in Russia.
Bekaert said it is now considering other options to improve its position in Russia. The company said it has built up a customer base in Russia for steel cord products for tire reinforcement, which are supplied to Russia from Bekaert plants in Central Europe. After failing to buy Uralkord, the company is considering other options.