Acerbrag is a company of family origin, located in the city of Bragado, Argentina, dedicated to the elaboration of iron and steel products of high quality. It produces steel for a wide range of uses, and is a major supplier of iron for civil and industrial works throughout the country. With more than fifty years of history, its production is important because it is one of the largest steelmakers in the country.
Founded in 1964, initially under the name of Acería Bragado, Acerbrag was born as a small steel mill, compared to the ones we have today. Building the company in Bragado was a challenge in the 1960s, as the infrastructure was almost non-existent for the construction of a steel mill in the region. Initially the production was focused on civil and industrial construction, focusing on the automotive and naval industry.
The company began its journey, growing along with the city of Bragado, evolving together, a history similar to other Votorantim companies, such as the city of Alumínio in the interior of São Paulo and CBA, a factory attached to the city. In its construction and in its early years, we see many rural workers in the Argentine steel mill, as well as merchants and technicians as staff, mostly residents of Bragado. In the early 1970s, due to its rapid growth, reflecting the economic success of the period, we see its first expansion, with the construction of two mills – at this time the country increased its steel production by almost 70%.
The eighties marked a time of deep crisis in the company, caused by the economic depression that was passing to Argentina, due to the reflections of the economic policy of the military period. This crisis resulted in a near-closure of the company in the early 1990s, returning to stability only 7 years later in 1997 when it was acquired by the Lupier family group.
After the acquisition by the Lupier Group, it was renamed Acerbrag S.A and underwent an intense modernization process, with a strong investment in new technologies, again making the Bragado region prosper, in a new impetus for economic development. In addition, the company goes through a reformulation of its governance, focusing its guidelines on a sustainable basis, focusing on preserving the environment and the safety of its employees. New facilities were built, improved management system and products of rare quality in the market were made available to its customers – thus making Acerbrag a player again important in the national and international market.
In spite of the strong modernization and quality of production, the crisis of the early 2000s in the country led the company to seek new partners, with Votorantim being responsible for its management from January 2008, when it acquired 27% of one year later, fully assumed control of the company with 53% of its capital. At the end of 2008, Votorantim made a significant jump in steel production, after acquiring Acerbrag and another Colombian steelmaker in the previous year, passing its production of just over 460 thousand tons of steel annually to more than 1.1 million tonnes per year.
2008 is a significant date for Votorantim, since with the acquisitions of these two international units, and combining the production of the units located in Brazil, Votorantim Siderurgia is born, a business unit that aims to reposition Votorantim’s growth in the steel business, showing its importance in the international and national scene.