Mill plan, consolidation to survive TK suit fallout

Dec 28, 2006 | 02:11 PM | Scott Robertson

A Rotterdam court case could have implications that reach across the Atlantic, but it's unlikely to scuttle plans for a major mill project in the United States or prevent the wave of international steel consolidation from engulfing Canada.

ThyssenKrupp AG Tuesday filed a legal action in Rotterdam against Mittal Steel Co. NV, accusing the latter of breach of contract for its failure to complete the sale of Dofasco Inc., Hamilton, Ontario, to the Düsseldorf, Germany,-based steelmaker (AMM, Dec. 27).

Dofasco is now owned by a Dutch trust set up by Arcelor SA, Luxembourg, to protect itself from a takeover by Mittal Steel. While some in the global industry—including executives of Mittal Steel—believe ThyssenKrupp's chances of success in court are remote, the potential exists for far-reaching consequences should the German steelmaker force a Dofasco sale.

Chief among them is the question of what impact, if any, such a victory would have on ThyssenKrupp's plans to build a $3-billion carbon and stainless steel manufacturing facility in the southern United States (AMM, Aug. 14). The company is looking at sites in Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas in an attempt to gain a foothold from where it could supply steel to the U.S. automotive industry.....

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