Gerdau Group has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Quanex Corp.’s MacSteel business for $1.458 billion in cash. MacSteel is the second-largest long specialty-steel producer in North America, with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million metric tons of steel and 1.1 million metric tons of rolled products. It operates three steel mills in Jackson, Mich., Monroe, Mich., and Fort Smith, Ark., plus six downstream mills.

The acquisition of MacSteel allows the Gerdau Group to enlarge its presence in the global automotive industry as a supplier of long specialty-steel products. The transaction, which does not include Quanex’s Building Products business, is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2008.