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Steel and Tube to buy local Tata Steel unit for $27.5m

Steel & Tube, which manufactures steel products, plans to buy the local division of India's Tata Steel Group for $27.5 million.

The Lower Hutt-based company plans to buy Tata Steel International Australasia on April 14, acquiring its stainless and engineering steel distribution business and composite steel floor manufacturing, Steel & Tube said in a statement.

"Together we are further strengthening our position as New Zealand's leading steel distribution company," Steel & Tube chief executive Dave Taylor said. "It's all about growing, innovating and competing."

Steel & Tube boosted first-half earnings 10 percent to $8 million in the second six months of 2013, holding its margins while warning of a highly competitive market. At the time of the announcement, the company said it needed new investment and greater labour flexibility to counter those pressures.

The shares fell 1 percent $2.96 in trading yesterday, and have declined 3 percent this year.