ArcelorMittal proposes significant EU flat steel asset sell-off in pursuit of Ilva deal

ArcelorMittal has told the European Commission (EC) it plans to sell-off a raft of its European flat steelmaking assets to seal its acquisition of Italian producer Ilva, the company said on Friday April 13.

ArcelorMittal is proposing to sell all of the assets, and not simply a selection of them, a company spokesman confirmed to Metal Bulletin on Friday.

Any sales would be conditional upon completion of ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Ilva.

The sites named include the Galati plant in Romania, the Skopje plant in Macedonia and the Ostrava site in Czech Republic. The list also comprises the hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) production plant in Piombino, Italy, and the Dudelange site in ArcelorMittal’s home country of Luxembourg.

HDG lines 4 and 5 in Flemalle; and the hot-rolled pickling, cold rolling and tin packaging lines in Tilleur, all of which are in Liège, Belgium, round off the list.

If the assets are sold off, it would leave ArcelorMittal’s Polish sites as their only central European production facilities for flat steel, Metal Bulletin understands.

AM Investco, which comprises global steelmaker ArcelorMittal and Italian re-roller Marcegaglia, agreed to purchase Ilva in May 2017.

Ilva’s site in Taranto, southern Italy, is the largest-capacity single unit for producing hot-rolled coil in Europe, with a total nameplate capacity of 12 million tonnes per year. The acquisition represents an opportunity for ArcelorMittal to become a market leader in southern Europe, where it currently has few flat steelmaking assets.

ArcelorMittal is proposing the wholesale European divestment of assets in response to EC concerns that the merger with Ilva could substantially reduce competition for carbon steel flat products and raise prices for European steel buyers.

The proposal to sell these assets remains subject to final review and approval by the EC, as well as the conclusion of the information and consultation processes with local and European works councils, ArcelorMittal said. The EC is expected to reach a final decision on the case by May, 23 2018.