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The alliance between the world’s largest steelmaker and the Italian steel processor and distributor is ready to file an offer for the whole company, the source said. This will therefore include the rolling mills in Genova Cornigliano and Novi Ligure, and the much-troubled 11.2 million-tpy plant in Taranto, all in Italy.

Such an offer will confirm the interest of both ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia in participating in the relaunch of Ilva, and will guarantee the retention of the current workforce, the source added.

Ilva currently employs about 11,000 workers at its main site in Taranto, 1,750 in Genova Cornigliano, and 800 in Novi Ligure.

However, the offer will be non-binding and will not include a monetary offer, as it remains unclear what financial burdens will be attached to the company’s sale.

ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia require that any accountability related to Ilva’s outstanding legal problems be excluded. This will be achieved by splitting Ilva into a “new company” and a “bad company”, Steel First understands.

In such a scenario, the bad company would be the entity called to answer for any legal problems arising from Ilva’s management in the past.

The new company, meanwhile, would assume the financial burdens of the plants’ maintenance, as well as the potential losses that may be incurred in the first 12 months after its relaunch.

The environmental rehabilitation of the Taranto plant, Steel First understands, may be included in the new company’s responsibilities, but subject to a new plan.

The current environmental plan, drafted by former special commissioner Enrico Bondi, has been estimated to cost a potential €1.8 billion ($2.3 billion).

When contacted by Steel First, ArcelorMittal and Marcegaglia declined to comment on the potential purchase.