Mexican Steel Entrepreneur Rufino Vigil Gonzalez Joins The Billionaires’ Club

industrias-chMexican steel magnate Rufino Vigil González, has been quietly building a steel empire for decades. His Industrias CH is now a $3.5 billion (market cap) steel production and processing company with an annual production capacity of more than 5 million tons.

Thanks to his 64.1% stake in the steel conglomerate, Vigil González, president of the company, is worth $2.2 billion, and the latest member of Forbes Mexican billionaires’ club.

Founded in 1934 as Herramientas S.A., the company spent its early days producing construction and agricultural tools. In the 1960s, the firm began manufacturing bar-quality steels, as well as building cranes, boilers, and ships.

In 1991, the Vigil family bought the company and began a steady beat of acquisitions. Among them were Procarsa, a Coahuila plant manufacturing large diameter steel seamed pipes, an area of production that has now become one of Industrias CH’s specialties. In 1997, the Vigils bought Compañía Mexicana de Perfiles y Tubos, which sells pipes of various diameters plus raw materials for furniture makers and auto parts manufacturers. In 1999, the company merged with Grupo Ruvi, another steel manufacturer. And in 2001, it bought out 82.5% of Grupo Simec, a steel smelter with factories in Guadalajara and Mexicali. The Simec assets represented 91% of ICH’s net sales in 2010.

Throughout the decade of 2000 Industrias CH kept snapping up steel makers, including two in the U.S.: in 2005, Republic Steel, a maker of special bar quality steel with plants in Canton, Lorain, and Massillon, Ohio; Lackawanna, New York; and Gary, Indiana; and in 2011, the assets of BCS Industries (originally Bluff City Steel), heat treatment and cold drawing plants for steel bars in Cleveland, Ohio, and Memphis, Tennessee.

In 2011, the company reaped a healthy $2.3 billion in annual sales.

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10 thoughts on “Mexican Steel Entrepreneur Rufino Vigil Gonzalez Joins The Billionaires’ Club

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