Comprehensive development: Mexican steel

With more than 55 years of experience in Mexican steel, Villacero has set its sights on expanding its capabilities on an international scale

Villacero is a privately owned Mexican company with subsidiaries mainly serving the steel and financial sectors in Mexico. On one hand, the company is involved in the processing, manufacturing and marketing of steel products, while also providing financial services to the Mexican market through Afirme Grupo Financiero, which offers insurance, investment fund management, banking services, warehousing, factoring, leasing and pension fund management.

Founded in 1955 in Monterrey, Mexico – an industry-based city located 200km south of the US – Villacero has grown from being a small distributor of steel products, primarily serving the construction and manufacturing industries in Monterrey – to become the Mexican market leader in processing, servicing, marketing and distributing steel products.

Villacero has the largest commercial network of steel products in Mexico, including the largest distribution and service centre in Latin America. The company has service centres in every significant consumption centre in Mexico and is the only site that can ensure the delivery of any kind of steel product to any location in Mexico. This is accomplished through the company’s huge network of logistics suppliers, including specialised road transportation companies, maritime port facilities and in-bond warehousing. These services are offered not only to the steel sector, but also to numerous other sectors like the automotive, agriculture products, and chemical product sectors among many others.
The commercial operations of Villacero are further supported by a vast network of processing and manufacturing facilities. Raw materials are processed in these facilities to produce painted and galvanised sheets and coils, welded small and large pipes and tubes, metal strips, structural profiles, deck and wiring products.

Across the world
Internationally speaking, Villacero has a history of over 30 years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Villacero developed distribution and manufacturing operations throughout Texas. Today, the Texas Valley is fully integrated into the company’s domestic operations. In 2006, Villacero acquired a participation in Adelphia Metals, the third-largest independent distributor of steel rebar in the US. Adelphia has its administrative headquarters in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and primarily services the east coast markets. It has a wide network of service centres across the US to provide quick and efficient service to its customers.

One of the most important steps Villacero has taken in its globalisation expansion happened in 1999 when the company grew its operations towards Europe, specifically Germany, where a partnership with Coutinho Caro & Co. was established in order to expand its sourcing capabilities globally. It did so through the establishment of CCC Steel, one of the main independent traders of steel products at the time.

This globalisation process was consolidated in 2008 when Villacero entered into an agreement with two important German companies in order to merge their steel trading activities to create Coutinho & Ferrostaal (C&F), a world∞class independent steel trading company. Even though C&F could be considered a relatively young investment, the existence of its former parent companies can be traced back to 1894.

C&F has sales offices and trading operations throughout the world in countries like Mexico, US, Canada, China, Singapore, India, Brazil, UK, Germany and Colombia, among others. The company is managed mainly through administrative hubs in Houston and Hamburg that provide important financial, logistical and administrative support to the trade network.

Villacero is a strategic element in the global steel industry’s value chain. The members of the financial sector view the company as an excellent business partner due to its vast experience in the steel sector. Furthermore, the relationship can be seen as a means to venture into new business, either through the creation of a financial link with Villacero’s current or potential customers, or through the penetration of new markets within the steel industry. This of course can be achieved with a lower risk factor than if done independently. Steel producers find Villacero to be a strategic partner with an extensive network of commercial outlets, and with the logistic and financial capabilities to access regions and markets that were formerly out of their reach. Finally, end users have confidence that, through Villacero, they will find comprehensive solutions to their steel-related needs, as well as a wide array of value∞added logistics and financial services that allow them to meet all of their requirements

Moving forward
This strategy to be present in the global market has achieved significant results. Last January, Expansion Magazine, a Mexican financial media outlet, ranked Villacero 11th on its list of the most globally established Mexican companies currently in the market.
Alongside its consolidation as a leading company in the steel market, Villacero has an ongoing commitment to the community. The most important activities in terms of social responsibility are carried out through Fundación Villacero, a sponsorship organisation created in 1998 to contribute to the ongoing development of Mexican society by promoting a better quality of life for its citizens. This organisation aims to create optimal business environments and employment opportunities for locals, supporting education, culture, social welfare and promoting civic values through the creation, sponsorship or support of institutions that promote these activities along with other cultural, research, and health development initiatives.

As part of its effort to promote the arts, the Fundación Villacero has organised cultural exhibitions in different countries to exhibit the work of prominent international artists. All these exhibits have had steel-worked sculpture as the central theme, in order to emphasise the versatility, sustainability and cost∞effectiveness of steel. In the past seven years, Fundación Villacero has organised 14 steel sculpture expositions in eight countries including: Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

Thanks to its dedication and hard work throughout its existence, in February 2012, Villacero received The New Economy’s ‘Corporate Citizen Award 2012’. This award is in acknowledgement of Villacero’s experience and dedication to emphasising the importance of the steel sector to the world, and has brought about a renewed commitment to work even harder to continue to fulfil its goals as a leader in the steel sector.

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