Stemcor was originally established under the name of Coutinho, Caro & Co (London) Ltd in 1951 as a joint venture between Hans Oppenheimer and a German trading company, Coutinho, Caro & Co. The German company was bought in 1984 by J McDermott. Hans Oppenheimer died in 1985, at which time the ownership of his 50% stake in the London company passed to his four daughters and his only son, Ralph Oppenheimer.

Subsequently McDermott felt they had made a mistake in investing in a trading company and decided to exit from their investment. In 1987, Ralph Oppenheimer began to negotiate the purchase on behalf of his family of the 50% stake in the London company held by McDermott. A condition of this agreement was that the London company changed its name and this was all completed in February 1988 when the name ‘Stemcor’ was born. The name was loosely based on STEel Marketing CORporation.




Acquired SteelTeam service centre in Finland, renamed Stemcor Finland


Acquired engineering steel stockholder Nickelloy LLC in the USA

Acquired Semimetais service centre in Portugal

Acquired stainless distributor Stainless Imports in the UK

Acquired Servichap service centre in Spain

Acquired a one third interest in USS service centre in the UK

Acquired Zimmer Staal stockholder in Belgium


Stemcor de Mexico established.

Stemcor Trading Shanghai established.

Opened liaison office in Norway.


Forged an alliance with Deutsche Bank to trade steel derivatives.


Completed the acquisition of Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation, an iron ore and manganese mine in Orissa, India.

Acquired Ferrosource in the USA, a pig iron and scrap distributor.

Acquired Barclay & Mathieson Limited, a general steel stockholder with 12 depots in the UK.


Acquired Steel Plate & Sections Ltd (SPS), a UK-based stockholder specialising in high value steel plate for the offshore oil and gas industry.

Established Stemcor Risk Management AG and placed its first steel futures contracts on the Dubai and London metal exchanges.

Disposed of 90% of its holding in the Savage River iron ore mine and invested in Brahmani River Pellets in India.

Turnover exceeds £4bn.


Acquired Schmolz + Bickenbach Flachstahl GmbH and Otto Knauf Stahl GmbH in Germany.

Acquired Global Market Services (GMS) in the USA and increased stake in Kenilworth Steel to 100%.

Worldwide presence of 60 offices.


Stemcor Europe AG established in Zug, Switzerland.

Acquired Savage River iron ore mine in Australia.

Tonnes traded exceed 15m.


WSK Stahlhandels GmbH (Germany) and its processing arm, S&W RohrTech, join the Stemcor Group.

Sterling Metal Traders (UK) joins the Stemcor Group.

Acquired 1/3 interest in Kenilworth Steel in the USA.


Stemcor moves to new London headquarters and celebrates 50 years of business.


Herbert Edmonds retires.

Turnover exceeds £1 billion.

Tonnes traded exceed 8m.


Worldwide presence of 30 offices.


Samac Steel Supplies (UK) joins the Stemcor Group.


Stemcor's interests in South Africa merged into a joint venture with Barloworld under the name of Stemcor S.A.


Stemcor expands rapidly with 13 new offices worldwide.


Stemcor Trade Finance Limited established as a countertrade service organisation.


ASD stockholding business sold to Usinor of France.


Stemcor USA established.


CCC London company name changed to Stemcor.

Stemcor Dusseldorf and Stemcor SEA established.


UK shareholders purchase the shares in CCC London from McDermott International.


L.W. Lambourn acquired.


CCC London awarded the Queen's Award for Export.


CCC Germany acquired by McDermott International.


Ralph Oppenheimer appointed Chairman of CCC London and Herbert Edmonds Deputy Chairman.


Associated Steel Distributors (ASD) formed as a holding company for UK stockholding interests.


CCC Sydney established.

Joint venture company (Protea International) established in South Africa.

Ralph Oppenheimer and Herbert Edmonds appointed joint Managing Directors.


First UK steel stockholding depot opened in London.


Eurosteel established to expand the UK import business.


Coutinho Caro and Co. (London) Ltd (CCC London) established as joint venture between its founder, H.A. Oppenheimer, and CCC Germany.