Gerdau Ameristeel Announces Amendment of Term Loan



    TAMPA, FL, June 22 /CNW/ - Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation (NYSE:   GNA; TSX:
GNA) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the lenders of
the Company's Term Loan Facility which provides temporary flexibility with
respect to the facility's covenants. The Term Loan Facility currently has US$
2.6 billion of borrowings outstanding and Gerdau S.A. and certain of its
Brazilian affiliates have guaranteed the Term Loan Facility since its
inception in 2007.
    The Term Loan Facility originally required the Company's majority
shareholder, Gerdau S.A., (on a consolidated basis, including the Company) to
maintain a ratio of consolidated EBITDA to total interest expense of more than
3.0 and a ratio of consolidated total debt to EBITDA of less than 4.0. The
amendment revises the financial covenants so that they require Gerdau S.A. (on
a consolidated basis, including the Company) to maintain a ratio of
consolidated EBITDA to net interest expense of more than 2.5 and a ratio of
consolidated net debt to EBITDA of less than 5.0.
    The amendment is effective immediately and the revised covenant levels
will remain in effect until September 30, 2010 unless cancelled by the Company
prior to that time. The revised covenant levels can be cancelled by the
Company at any time without penalty.
    The amendment also revises the interest charged on the outstanding
borrowings if and when the financial covenants originally contained in the
facility are not met. Under such circumstances, the interest rate charged
would increase based on certain conditions. After September 30, 2010 or upon
the Company's cancellation of the revised covenants if sooner, the interest
rate increase would terminate.
    The total cost of the amendment is expected to be between US$ 12.8
million and US$ 41.5 million, depending on the timing of any interest rate
increase. The amendment does not affect the outstanding amount of borrowings
under or the original amortization schedule of the Term Loan Facility.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    In this press release, "Gerdau Ameristeel" and "Company" refer to Gerdau
Ameristeel Corporation and its subsidiaries and 50%-owned joint ventures.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking
statements. Such statements can often be identified by the words
"anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "plans," and
other words and terms of similar meaning, which are predictions of or indicate
future events, trends or prospects and which do not relate to historical
matters. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements
about the costs associated with the amendment of the Company's Term Loan
Facilty. The Company cautions readers that forward-looking statements involve
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those currently projected by the Company. In addition to those noted in
the statements themselves, any number of factors could affect actual results,
including, without limitation:
    Excess global steel industry capacity and the availability of competitive
substitute materials; the cyclical nature of the steel industry and the
industries served by the company and economic conditions in North America and
worldwide; increases in the cost of steel scrap, energy and other raw
materials; steel imports and trade regulations; a change in China's
steelmaking capacity or slowdown in China's steel consumption; the company's
participation in the consolidation of the steel industry; the substantial
capital investment and similar expenditures required in the company's
business; unexpected equipment failures and plant interruptions or outages;
the company's level of indebtedness; the cost of compliance with environmental
and occupational health and safety laws; the enactment of laws intended to
reduce greenhouse gases and other air emissions; the company's ability to fund
its pension plans; the ability to renegotiate collective bargaining agreements
and avoid labor disruptions; currency exchange rate fluctuations; actions or
potential actions taken by the company's principal stockholder, Gerdau S.A.,
the liquidity of the company's long-term investments, including investments in
auction rate securities, and the company's reliance on its 50%-owned joint
ventures that it does not control.
    Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on current
information as of the date of this press release and the company does not
undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect
new information, future developments or events, except as required by law.

    About Gerdau Ameristeel

    Gerdau Ameristeel is the second largest mini-mill steel producer in North
America, with annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 12 million tons
of mill finished steel products. Through its vertically integrated network of
19 mini-mills (including one 50% owned joint venture mini-mill), 23 scrap
recycling facilities and 60 downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel serves
customers throughout the United States and Canada. The Company's products are
generally sold to steel service centers, steel fabricators, or directly to
original equipment manufacturers ("OEMs") for use in a variety of industries,
including non-residential, infrastructure, commercial, industrial and
residential construction, metal building, manufacturing, automotive, mining,
cellular and electrical transmission and equipment manufacturing. Gerdau
Ameristeel's majority shareholder is the Gerdau Group, a 100+ year old steel
company, the leading company in the production of long steel in the Americas
and one of the major specialty long steel suppliers in the world. Gerdau
Ameristeel's common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the
Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GNA.





For further information:

For further information: Investor Relations Contact: Barbara Smith, Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer, Phone: (813) 319-4324, Email:
basmith@gerdauameristeel.com; Media Contact: Philip K. Bell, Director,
External Communications and Public Affairs, Phone: (813) 207-2315, Email:
pbell@gerdauameristeel.com

Organization Profile

GERDAU AMERISTEEL CORPORATION

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