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North Star purchase is complete



Published: Tue, July 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- North Star Steel's local mill now is part of a newly formed company called V & amp;M Star.

The $380 million purchase of North Star's tubular division was completed Monday. It had been announced in May, and received approval of regulators in June.

Vallourec, a French tube maker leading the ownership group, said it created the newly incorporated company to run the tubular plants in Youngstown and Houston. The North Star management will remain, it said.

Vallourec said the acquisition will add to its earnings as early as this year.

The Youngstown and Houston plants had sales of $328 million and earnings before depreciation, taxes and amortization of $81 million last year.

Vallourec said oil and gas drilling, which declined in the second half of last year, should continue to recover in the coming months. About two-thirds of the seamless pipe produced in Youngstown is used for casings for oil and gas wells in deep seas.

The new owners said they intend to retain the 430 employees in Youngstown and the 130 in Houston.

Vallourec & amp; Mannesmann Tubes, a joint venture owned mostly by Vallourec, owns 80 percent of V & amp;M Star. Sumitomo Corp. of Japan owns 20 percent.

North Star is a subsidiary of Cargill, a Minneapolis-based company that wants to focus on its agriculture feed and food processing business.




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