NEW YORK ArcelorMittal SA has been invited by the Italian government to look at Ilva SpAs steel plant in Taranto, Italy, the companys top executive said June 17.
"It does not mean that we are going to acquire it. We are looking at it," ArcelorMittal chairman and chief executive officer Lakshmi N. Mittal said on the sidelines of AMMs Steel Success Strategies XXIX conference in New York.
The Luxembourg-based steelmakers caution on the issue comes in part because of the complex set of challenges facing the facility, including economic issues as well as political and social problems, Mittal said. "We have to make a study. What are the challenges? How can they be resolved? This is a long, drawn-out situation."
Ilvas Taranto facility in southern Italys Puglia region, which has five blast furnaces, was purchased by Italys Riva Group from the Italian government in 1995 (amm.com, March 22, 2012).
The Riva family is still the majority shareholder of Ilva but does not control the businessthe Italian government put Ilva under special administration last year after a widening environmental probe put Europes largest steel plant at risk.
AMM sister publication Steel First reported earlier this month that the industrial and environmental plan for Ilva drafted by the administrator said the company requires investments totaling 4.2 billion ($5.7 billion) over the next six years.