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Chinese, U.S. steel firms open joint venture

04-02-2011 09:54 BJT

HOUSTON, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Jinhuan steel, a leading private steel manufacturing company based in China's Hebei province, and Rigid Building Systems, a Houston-based steel building company, officially opened their joint-venture Rigid Global Buildings Friday.

Jinhuan Steel invested about 11 million U.S. dollars in Rigid Building Systems and now holds 51 percent of the shares of Rigid Global Buildings, and the two owners of Rigid Building Systems, hold 12 percent of the joint venture each, with the remaining 25 percent of shares being held by Citibank, said Liu Baozhong, president of Jinhuan Steel.

The marriage between Jihuan and Rigid is a win-win choice for both companies, said Liu, who said he was very impressed by Rigid when he visited the U.S. company for the first time in 2007. When Rigid Building Systems ran into trouble in 2008 because of the recession and went red, Liu said he thought it was good timing for his company to forge a partnership with the U.S. company.

After about two years' negotiation and preparation, the two companies finished the acquisition procedures and announced the formation of Rigid Global Buildings in January this year.

Thanks to their partnership, Jinhuan can learn advanced management and mature technologies from its U.S. partner, and Rigid, with investment from China, has been able to survive and will become better in the future, said Liu.

Liu said Rigid Global Buildings has been in black in the first several months of the year and some laid-off workers are coming back.

At its peak, Rigid Building Systems has some 600 employees and it had to slim its workforce to about 200 when the recession took its toll, according to Liu. Now, the company has begun hiring and expected to hire more workers in the future.

In a news release posted on Rigid Global Buildings' website, the company said "the new partnership between Rigid Building Systems and Jinhuan Steel is a leading example of how international investments are helping U.S. companies."

Since the beginning of this year, some 30 jobs have been created at Rigid Global Buildings, Frederick J Campara, co-owner of Rigid Building Systems, said at the grand opening ceremony. Chinese investors are helping create jobs in Houston, he said, who also voiced confidence that the company will be better and stronger in the future.

Liu said that, instead of merely focusing on the U.S. and Chinese markets, he and his U.S. partners are planning to expand business internationally. They are eyeing the Middle East steel manufacturing market, he said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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