Röhren- und Stahllager Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG (Rösta) and Löwe & Jaegers GmbH have announced plans to merge their distribution and associated machining activities in the German steel pipe and tube industry with effect from 1 April 2003. The new company will operate under the name Benteler Rohrhandel GmbH & Co. KG. Incorporation is still subject to approval by the anti-trust authorities. The future Benteler Rohrhandel GmbH & Co. KG expects to acquire a strong position in the German pipe and tube sector. The merger will further broaden the extensive range of products and services offered by both Benteler Röhren- und Stahllager-Gruppe and Löwe & Jaegers. By substantially expanding its product range to include heavy wall tubes, boiler tubes, precision tubes and stainless steel tubes, the new entity will be able to offer a more comprehensive range of pipes and tubes for the machine and equipment engineering sector and the automotive industry. The joint venture will enable all the processing facilities to be used more efficiently and in a more customer-oriented way. The Benteler Handel group, which includes Röhren- und Stahllager Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, is a leading European industrial stockist of pipes and tubes, with processing facilities for carbon steel and stainless steel pipes. Löwe & Jaegers GmbH is part of the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, a world-wide industrial distributor of steel pipes and tubes and tube components.