Weirton files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection

May 19, 2003 | 08:20 PM | Scott Robertson

Weirton Steel Corp., Weirton, W.Va., the sixth-largest integrated steel producer in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday after three years of fighting to avoid such a filing.

The move became inevitable during the past several weeks when Weirton executives realized cost-cutting measures had not been enough to offset rising legacy costs and a weak steel market, sources said. Strategic alternatives, including acquiring other tin mill operations, also were eliminated in recent weeks, in part by merger activity among other major steel producers.

"Our goal is to emerge from bankruptcy as soon as possible," said John Walker, Weirton Steel's president and chief executive officer.

Walker said Weirton's mills would remain in operation and the company has no plans to sell off any assets while in bankruptcy reorganization.

"We will maintain control and possession of our assets," he said. "We are going to work through the (U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia) to stabilize. We are keeping our business and operations intact--there are no plans to liquidate or close any mill. In fact, we plan to upgrade as soon as our cash flow improves."....

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