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World's largest manufacturer of wire steel establishes in Orotina

AUGUST 22nd 2014

• Company invested in two manufacturing plants in Orotina.
• Bekaert is a global leader in technology and market advanced solutions for the processing and coating of steel wires. It employs 27,000 people worldwide.

Alajuela, Costa Rica. August 22nd, 2014 Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB), a global company with headquarters in Belgium, opened today in La Ceiba Orotina a modern plant with the latest technology for the manufacturing of steel fiber, their brand Dramix®. Through this operation the company Bekaert Costa Rica, SA was created with the partnership between Bekaert, through its Holding Bekaert Ideal, (which retains a 73% stake) and ArcelorMittal (remaining 27%).
From this new plant -of 10,200 square meters- Bekaert will produce and export steel fiber of their brand Dramix® for concrete reinforcement across the continent, which is widely used by customers in the infrastructure and construction markets. The operation will add to the existing factory of steel wire acquired by Bekaert, also in partnership with ArcelorMittal, and located in the same industrial complex. It will employ about 200 people, 60 of whom will work initially in the manufacturing of Dramix®.
Currently, the company has operational, technical, administrative and managerial positions. Those interested in applying can send an email to recusoshumanoscr@bekaert.com or bring their resumes directly to the premises of the company.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís, who took the opportunity to highlight the importance and positive impact of foreign direct investment (FDI) outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM).
"Several multinational companies have found that the Costa Rican human talent that lives outside the greater metropolitan area also offers great technical and academic skills as well as a lot of soft skills. We hope that the investment that Bekaert is making in Orotina motivates more companies to consider new areas in the country and bring the benefits of FDI to the entire national territory, "said the president.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora, said that "the arrival of companies like this, that the country has successfully managed to attract, is one of the most effective mechanisms to promote local linkages. For this government is of priority interest to encourage more investment, as the one announced by Bekaert, to reach other areas and motivate our small and medium entrepreneurs to find allies in them to also grow their business. We will continue working hard to support that more initiatives of this nature can materialize and help to spread the benefits of FDI more widely. "
Bekaert General Manager for Central America and the Caribbean, Simon Pineda said that "Bekaert technology with which the new plant was developed allows us to achieve high speed wire drawing processes and this results in high operational performance. In addition, more stringent criteria are applied to minimize the environmental impact by eliminating industrial waste."
Regional Expansion
The establishment of Bekaert in Costa Rica is part of an expansion in the region, through which the company seeks to better serve its customers in the region with a portfolio of wire products for the construction, mining, oil and gas, agricultural, and industrial and fence markets.
As Pineda explained, the company elected Costa Rica because of its attractive economic environment, political stability and a location that allows to cover several countries. "Bekaert is customary to establish their operations in areas outside the metropolitan area. Those conditions were in compliance here. The country has a great offer of talent and a beneficial free zone regime, "he added.
CINDE's Director General, Gabriela Llobet, emphasized the importance of bringing more projects of this type outside the greater metropolitan area of Costa Rica to generate high-quality jobs and expand opportunities to other areas.
"Bekaert is an example of the potential of Costa Rica to attract firms in geographic areas outside GAM and expand opportunities for high-quality jobs for Costa Ricans. CINDE is working on this goal and look forward to setting other areas as interesting options for companies to set up their operations and create the necessary and valuable employment to the communities."
Globally, Bekaert is renowned for the variety and versatility of its products. From the automotive industry to the construction sector, and from utilities to the heavy equipment industry, rely on its technology and supply. For example, one in every four tires in the world has Bekaert steel cord in it.
The region accounts for about 40% of the combined sales of the company, which currently employs 8,000 people in Latin America.
About Bekaert
Bekaert (www.bekaert.com) is a world leader in technology and a market leader in advanced solutions for the processing and coating of wires. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 27,000 people worldwide. By serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert seeks sustainable profitable growth in all its activities. In 2013 it generated 4.1 billion euros in combined sales.
Disclaimer
This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding the impact of the transaction on the financial statements of Bekaert. Such statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, known and unknown risks that may be involved, as well as uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any further results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Bekaert is providing the information in this press release as of this date happens and assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this communication based on the emergence of new information, future events or otherwise. Bekaert disclaims any responsibility for the statements made or published by third parties. Assumes no obligation to correct the data, information, conclusions or inaccurate opinions posted by others that refer to this or any other press release issued by Bekaert.

More information:
Ignacio Solis B. Gómez, 2291-0660, ext. 109, 8837-1536, isolis@milenio.co.cr