LONDON U.S. antitrust authorities have approved the sale of ThyssenKrupp Steel USA LLCs facilities in Alabama, parent company ThyssenKrupp AG said in a statement Jan. 30.
The Essen, Germany-based steelmaker received notification of the expiration of a pre-merger waiting period under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act on Jan. 29. This "signals the conclusion of the approval process" by U.S. competition authorities and represents "an important step towards completion of the transaction," ThyssenKrupp said.
The closure of the deal, however, is "still subject to the approval of regulatory authorities in other countries," the steelmaker added.
ThyssenKrupp in late November announced plans to sell its 5.3-million-tonne-per-year rolling and coating plant in Calverta loss-making investment for the companyto Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Tokyo, for $1.55 billion (amm.com, Dec. 1). Once the sale is finalized, ArcelorMittal and NSSMCs reach in the automotive market are expected to improve the outlook for the Calvert operations, which will be run as a 50-50 joint venture. The energy market will also be an important market for the facility.
ArcelorMittal acknowledged that it had received notification of the conclusion of the antitrust waiting period and, subject to other conditions, "the acquisition is expected to close later in the first quarter of 2014 or in the second quarter of 2014," it said in a statement.
Heinrich Hiesinger, ThyssenKrupps chief executive officer, during a Nov. 30 conference call with analysts described the sale as a first step toward balancing the German steelmakers cash flow and reducing market risk (amm.com, Dec. 2), helping to reduce some of ThyssenKrupps debt.
The deal is expected to have a positive impact on U.S. flat-rolled pricing, steel market analysts have largely agreed (amm.com, Dec. 2).
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.