CHICAGO ThyssenKrupp AGs assets in the Americas are matters of interest to U.S. Steel Corp., according to its top executive.
We look at things that might be attractive within our business model and that would add value and things that are in the product ranges were familiar with and geographies that seem to have some regional association to where we are, U.S. Steel chairman and chief executive officer John P. Surma said during a conference call with analysts Jan. 29 following the release of fourth-quarter earnings.
These assets ... fit that criteria, and theyre matters of interest, Surma said. Anything specific beyond that, its hard for us to comment on within the rules that were operating under.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst Sal Tharani asked during the call whether U.S. Steel might be interested in domestic operations currently owned by ArcelorMittal SA should the Luxembourg-based steelmaker bid successfully for ThyssenKrupp, which could prompt a U.S. Department of Justice requirement that ArcelorMittal divest some of its current facilities in the United States due to antitrust concerns. Tharani referred specifically to ArcelorMittals operations in Cleveland and Burns Harbor, Ind.
Thats just a hypothetical, Surma said, who reiterated what makes a facility attractive to U.S. Steel, including geography and product range. Everything you just mentioned probably would fit that. I just would also observe that over the years we have looked at those things beforebefore the current owners had them.
Surma dismissed Tharanis question of whether acquiring a facility currently owned by ArcelorMittal would require U.S. Steel to boost iron ore production.
It depends on a lot of different things, Surma said. If its just a coating line, its one thing. If its a blast furnace with a steel shop, its something else. ... It all depends on what it would be.
An ArcelorMittal executive recently confirmed the companys interest in ThyssenKrupps Calvert, Ala., facility (amm.com, Jan. 9
ThyssenKrupp has said it aims to recoup the roughly 7-billion ($9.5-billion) book value of its Steel Americas assetsincluding the Calvert rolling mill and slab-making operations in Brazilas it looks to find a buyer or partner for the unit (amm.com, Aug. 28