American Zinc Recycling LLC (AZR), a provider of environmental services to the U.S. steel industry, announced that Luxembourg-based Befesa S.A. will acquire 100% of its recycling assets for $450 million. In addition, Befesa will invest $10 million for a minority stake in AZR’s downstream refining operation, American Zinc Products (AZP), forming a joint venture with the current ownership. The transaction will create a global leader in recycling electric-arc furnace (EAF) dust. The combined company will include all employees in AZR’s recycling business and will operate under the Befesa name.  

The acquisition increases Befesa’s total steel-dust recycling capacity by 40% to 1.7 million tons across 12 facilities in Europe, Asia and the United States. Combining with AZR will provide Befesa with its first North American operation and a well-developed presence in the growing EAF steelmaking markets in the United States. AZP’s zinc refining operation in Rutherford County, N.C., produces special high grade (SHG) and continuous galvanizing grade (CGG) high-purity zinc metal using recycled steel-mill dust. This EAF dust is processed at AZR recycling facilities and then further treated through the combined solvent-extraction and electro-winning technologies of AZP.