NEW YORK A number of RG
Steel LLCs pending sales moved a step closer to
resolution at a hearing Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Delaware, including setting a Sept. 7 hearing to settle a
dispute over the sale of the bankrupt steelmakers stake
in Ohio Coatings Co.
RG Steel had agreed to sell its
50-percent stake in Ohio Coatings to Esmark Steel Group LLC for
$1.5 million in cash (
amm.com, Aug. 1). On Wednesday, Esmark asked Judge
Kevin J. Carey to compel the sale of the 50-percent stake in
the tinplate producer after Esmarks funds wired for the
sale were returned (
amm.com, Aug. 30). The Chicago Heights, Ill.-based
company said that it is imperative for the sale to move forward
to allow it to negotiate tinplate contracts for 2013.
"RG disputes the notion that the
value of (Ohio Coatings) is eroding. It disputes the notion
that Esmark is entitled to close (the transaction)," RG Steel
counsel said at Fridays hearing. "This will be
Counsel for both sides said they
would present arguments and witnesses Sept. 7.
"We appreciate the courts
prompt attention to our motion and look forward to the hearing
and concluding this matter as quickly as possible," Esmark
chairman and chief executive officer James P. Bouchard said in
an e-mail to AMM.
Meanwhile, counsel for CJ
Betters Enterprises Inc., the proposed purchaser of RG
Steels Warren, Ohio, facility, has reached an agreement
with an ArcelorMittal USA Inc. subsidiary over disputed
property rights at the site, so the $16-million sale of the
facility can move toward closing, ArcelorMittal counsel said
during the hearing.
Counsel for CJ Betters
Enterprises, ArcelorMittal and RG Steel did not respond to
requests for comment.
Also during the hearing, counsel
for RG Steel and Mountain State Carbon LLCa joint venture
between RG Steel and Severstal NAsaid that RG Steel would
no longer be running the facility as of Sept. 1, although RG
Steel would retain its 50-percent ownership in the venture.
Severstal declined to comment.
Prior to the RG Steels
financial troubles, the two steelmakers had been sharing coke
output from the Follansbee, W.Va., facility, but a West
Virginia judge issued an injunction against RG Steel from
taking any more coke from the facility due to its failure to
pay for the material. Three of the
Follansbee plants coke batteries were subsequently
put on hot idle (
amm.com, June 8).