The deal-driven chief executive of Canadian steelmaker Stelco Holdings Inc. has earmarked $400 million of his own money for a fund to invest in coal and other industrial assets.
Alan Kestenbaum, who years ago helped buy distressed Stelco and was once in the running to buy the Carolina Panthers National Football League team, is relaunching a fund to invest in industrials, mining and commodities. The dealmaker, whose family history stretches back for decades in the commodities industry, said targets include operations that have fallen out of favor during the energy transition, such as coal.
“This is a skill and expertise we have in reaching out to the market, identifying assets, and operating them,” Kestenbaum said in an interview.
The steel executive has revived the Bedrock Industries name for his latest move, using the identity for the Miami-based holding company that’ll do the deals. The name was part of a venture with private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg LLC from 2015 until 2021, when Kestenbaum bought out his partner.
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Kestenbaum, 62, is using his own cash for Bedrock Industries Group LLC “to pursue other Stelco-type deals.” He said the firm will be looking for assets in China, Latin America, the Middle East and India, where growth rates — depending on the product — are more than double North America.
“We’ll go into coal and other underserved markets,” he said, adding that targets include a wide net of “geographically unconstrained” products including aluminum, copper, alloys as well as thermal coal and its metallurgical counterpart used in steelmaking.
Coal miners began raking in profits in 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine thrust the world into an energy crisis, reminding investors that demand for the dirtiest fossil fuel remains resilient despite a push for cleaner fuels to fight climate change.
Bedrock Industries’ managing director will be Gaurav Mehta, a former banker with UBS Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG, and Kestenbaum said he’ll also provide support with investments and guidance.