NEW YORK ThyssenKrupp AG aims to recoup the roughly 7-billion ($8.86-billion) book value of its Steel Americas assets as it looks to sell or find a partner for the struggling unit, a spokesman told AMM Tuesday.
The spokesman described the process of selling the companys facilities in Calvert, Ala., and Rio de Janeiro as "quite young," adding, "There are more than 10 interested parties, but we have no concrete information yet (to share) about who is interested and what is the status (of that interest)."
ThyssenKrupp said in May it was looking to sell off or find a partner for its Steel Americas business, citing rising raw material costs in Brazil and a slower-than-expected North American recovery as reasons for the divisions sustained financial losses (amm.com, May 15). Steel Americas lost $781 million in the first nine months of its fiscal year (amm.com, Aug. 10).
Industry analysts said that it might be difficult to get $8.86 billion for the facilities, given the tough economic climate.
"Does that also include some oceanfront property in (landlocked) Arizona? Its a nice dream," said one New York-based analyst.
Analysts previously told AMM that ThyssenKrupp might have to wait if it wants to avoid taking a large loss on its Steel Americas investment (amm.com, May 18).
The ThyssenKrupp spokesman confirmed reports Tuesday that chief executive officer Heinrich Hiesinger had said the company would sell the two facilities separately.
"It could be difficult to sell both (Steel Americas facilities) together, as the business model has proven to be difficult," a second analyst said.
The facilities were designed to work in tandem, with ThyssenKrupp using the Alabama rolling facility to process slab produced in Brazil.
Analysts have suggested a number of U.S. companies as potential buyers, including Fontana, Calif.-based California Steel Industries Inc.; Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.; and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp.
Overseas interest could come from ArcelorMittal SA and Ternium SA, both of Luxembourg; Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional and Vale SA, both of Rio de Janeiro; Baosteel Group Corp. Ltd. of Shanghai, China; Dongkuk Steel Group of Seoul, South Korea; and Posco Ltd. of Pohang, South Korea (amm.com, May 18).
None of those companies has officially confirmed interest in ThyssenKrupps facilities.
Stacy Irish, New York, contributed to this story.