Ironmaker Aqha: The company that can make the most expensive steel
Anaheim, California—Anaheim-based Ironmaker aQha, which makes the most inexpensive steel in the world, is laying off workers as it prepares to move to the U.S. The announcement comes as the company gears up for an expected $7.5 billion IPO.
The layoffs come on the heels of layoffs last year that affected about 600 people, most of them at the facility in downtown Los Angeles.
The company has also been struggling to meet demand for its aluminum products, and it is now the world’s largest maker of aluminum-alloy steels.
Its aluminum products account for a third of the world market, and its aluminum-nickel steels are used in some of the most powerful automobiles on the road today.
As the company struggles to stay afloat, its stock is down more than 2 percent since it was announced.
CEO and co-founder David Bien, who is also the CEO of aluminum supplier Olin and has been with the company for nearly four decades, said the company is taking steps to address its business needs.
The biggest concern for the company has been the cost of making the aluminum products.
It’s a process that can take up to three months and costs $5,000 to $10,000 per kilogram, said Bien.
The aluminum process also produces the high-strength aluminum that’s used in many of the company’s products.
“We can make aluminum from this material, but we can’t use it because it’s too expensive,” Bien said.
Ironmaker has been making aluminum for more than 30 years and has made more than 400 million pounds of the alloy.
Bien is a veteran of the aluminum industry, having spent the last decade running his own company, Aluminium Materials.
“Our business model has always been to get the aluminum out to the market as quickly as possible,” he said.
He said the layoffs will not affect Ironmaker’s plans to move production to the United States.
IronMaker is the parent company of Aluminium Technologies Inc. and a major component of the global aluminum supply chain, including its aluminum production plants in China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Ironmakers is currently in the process of acquiring Aluminium Products and the aluminum smelting plant in Arizona.
The deal would be the first of its kind in the aluminum supply business, according to Ironmaker spokeswoman Natalie Ellington.
Ironmaking has been working on a $8 billion merger with its longtime rival, Alcoa.
The merger will bring together the largest aluminum smithereens supplier in the U., as well as the largest producer of aluminum in the United Nations.