December 4, 2006, The Wall Street Journal James Bouchard of Esmark Inc. was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp., and brother Craig Bouchard was named president and vice chairman. The Bouchards will retain their positions with Esmark, where Craig, 53 years old, is president, and James, 45, is CEO. On Nov. 17, shareholders voted to oust Wheeling-Pitt’s sitting board of directors, supporting a hostile takeover by the closely held Chicago Heights, Ill., steel distributor. The final vote was 6.1 million to 2.8 million, a majority that Esmark called an overwhelming victory. Wheeling-Pitt shares fell 45 cents, or 2.6%, to $17.13 Friday...

October 27, 2006, Associated Press, By VICKI SMITH MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The third-largest shareholder of Wheeling Pittsburgh Corp. said Friday it will support Esmark Inc. and help elect a new board of directors that aims to pull off a hostile takeover. Tontine Management LLC and its affiliates, which control 9.5 percent of Wheeling-Pitt’s stock, sent a letter to the West Virginia steelmaker saying the latest offer from Esmark promises “the most attractive long-term economic value” for current shareholders. “Absent any changes in the facts or dynamics of the process or the current proposals, Tontine has concluded it will support the Esmark slate...

August 14 2006, Associated Press, By VICKI SMITH MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - The United Steelworkers officially picked a side in the battle for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., declaring Monday it will embrace a future with an Illinois steel supplier and try to defeat a merger with management's preferred partner. In a news release late Monday, District 1 Director David McCall in Columbus, Ohio, said the USW will "use every means at the union's disposal" to defeat Wheeling-Pitt's proposed deal with Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, or CSN. Wheeling-Pitt, which employs about 3,100 at plants in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, has a tentative agreement...

August 4, 2006, Chicago Sun-Times Esmark Inc. continued its buying spree Thursday as the steel service center disclosed its 10th acquisition since it was founded in 2003, bringing the total price paid to $221 million. The privately held company -- named in honor of one of Chicago’s premier food companies in the 1980s -- bought Cleveland-based Independent Steel, a steel services center, for $21 million in cash. “The acquisition demonstrates Esmark’s commitment to growth and investment in the Ohio Valley,” said Esmark Chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard. “This is another important strategic step towards completing our downstream-growth platform between the Pittsburgh-Chicago growth...

Jim and Craig Bouchard plan reverse merger to acquire steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh July 30, 2006, Chicago Tribune, By James P. Miller, Tribune staff reporter After expanding Esmark Inc. through a rapid-fire series of friendly acquisitions, Jim and Craig Bouchard suddenly have adopted an unfriendly posture. In their quest to move their Chicago Heights steel-service-center holding company onto a bigger stage, the Bouchard brothers want to take over publicly traded steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp. by means of a financial maneuver known as a reverse merger. If successful, privately held Esmark would become a public company. Reverse mergers of any stripe are a rarity. But because the target...

July 21, 2006, Post-Tribune (Merrillville, Ind.), Post-Tribune Staff Report CHICAGO — Undaunted by a rebuff from Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. officials, Esmark Inc. CEO James P. Bouchard on Thursday continued his quest to take over the West Virginia steel company. Esmark revealed its own slate of board directors for the company that draw from various disciplines including business, academia and the metals industries. Esmark also announced it still intends to file a preliminary proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission shortly in relation to its takeover proposal. Esmark’s action comes a day after Wheeling-Pitt’s CEO James G. Bradley brushed aside Esmark’s takeover threat, saying...

[caption id="attachment_1043" align="alignright" width="250"] Robert J. Pavuchak, Post-Gazette Shares of Wheeling-Pittsburgh, which operates this plant in Allenport, rose 8 percent yesterday on news of Esmark’s $1.1 billion bid.[/caption] July 18, 2006, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, By Len Boselovic Pittsburgh Post-Gazette A top official of the United Steelworkers of America yesterday endorsed Esmark’s proposal to merge with the parent company of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, saying the alliance would make the steelmaker stronger and provide more security for workers and retirees. Meanwhile, Wheeling-Pitt shares rose 8 percent following Esmark’s $1.1 billion bid, which values the steelmaker’s stock at $20 per share. Wheeling-Pitt closed yesterday at $19.26, up $1.40. USW...

July 17, 2006, Wall Street Journal, By PAUL GLADER, The Wall Street Journal Esmark Inc., a fast-growing steel distribution company, plans to announce as early as today that it is launching a proxy fight with steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp., followed by an offer to combine the two companies. Esmark, a closely held Chicago company led by brothers James and Craig Bouchard, plans to offer a slate of six to 11 directors at Wheeling-Pittsburgh’s annual meeting expected to occur in early August to replace current directors. Wheeling-Pittsburgh, of Wheeling, W.Va., is primarily owned by institutional investors and hedge funds, although nearly 20% of the stock is held...

January 25, 2006, Crain’s Chicago Business, By Bob Tita (Crain’s) — Steel distributor Esmark Inc. said Wednesday it's acquiring Premier Resource Group LLC, a North Aurora-based distributor of painted steel. The purchase price was not disclosed. Premier has annual sales of $30 million and specializes in painted metal for garage doors, office furniture, appliances and the construction industry. Premier arranges for steel to be coated by other companies and then distributes the final product, saving its customers from having to arrange for painting on their own. As part of the purchase, Premier executives will remain in their jobs and become officers in Chicago-based...

December 07, 2005, Crain’s Chicago Business, By Bob Tita Steel industry consolidator Esmark Inc. said Wednesday it has acquired Homewood-based steel distributor North American Steel LLC. The purchase price was not disclosed, but the deal involved both cash and equity in Chicago-based Esmark, an Esmark spokesman said. As part of the deal, North American co-owners Michael Bush and Thomas Jeter will become Esmark executives. Mr. Bush will be president of Century Steel in Chicago Heights , a steel distributor purchased by Esmark early this year. Mr. Jeter, meanwhile, will serve as president of North American Steel. Founded in 1993, North American Steel specializes...