NEW YORK A prolonged
bidding process for ThyssenKrupp AGs Steel Americas
operations in Calvert, Ala., and Brazil could be nearing a
conclusion after the steelmaker said it was in "intense
negotiations" with potential buyers.
"We are in intense negotiations
for Steel Americas," the Essen, Germany-based company said in a
statement May 3. "These negotiations include talks with our
involved partner Vale (SA), Brazilian development bank BNDES
and Brazilian government circles. Unchanged, we focus on a
signing in due time."
News that the process may be
coming to a close follows months of behind-doors bidding and
negotiations for the steel production unit, which was put on
the auction block last year as ThyssenKrupp looked to cut
costs, garnering interest from several domestic and
international competitors. A number of bidders previously
confirmed some level of interest in the assets, including
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA, Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel
Corp., Luxembourg-based Ternium SA and Charlotte, N.C.-based
Nucor Corp. (
amm.com, Feb. 12).
ThyssenKrupp declined to comment
further on the confidential negotiations. "Due to the
complexity of the process and the different interests of the
various parties involved, we do not provide any further
details, such as concrete timetables, names or figures," a
However, multiple sources said
that a rumored $2.1-billion bid by ArcelorMittal and Nippon
Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (NSSMC) for the Calvert plant
remains one of the top offers, although it was unclear whether
the reported bid could be revised in later stages of
Sources also said that
Brazils Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional SA (CSN) had
been considered another possible frontrunner for either one or
both of the assets, although the company said in April that it
had not made a binding offer for any of the assets (
amm.com, April 2).
A spokeswoman for ArcelorMittal
USA, a spokeswoman for CSN and a spokesman for NSSMC could not
be reached for comment.
While sources have said the
state-of-the-art rolling facility in Calvert is garnering
substantial interest, some questioned whether the Cia.
Siderúrgica do Atlânticos (CSAs) slab
plant in Rio de Janeiro state has received the same reception.
In 2009, AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin reported the Brazilian mill was temporarily
forced to import coke due to some technical problems, and at
least once source familiar with the bidding process cited those
alleged earlier structural issues as a possible point of
Ternium said this past week that
it was no longer participating in the slab plant sale due to a
"different value perception" (
amm.com, May 1). Acquiring the plant would have
given Ternium self-sufficiency in the supply of slab, which is
crucial as the Calvert mill does not have a melt shop.
ThyssenKrupp has a majority
73.15-percent stake in the slab plant, with partner Vale owning
A spokesman for ThyssenKrupp did
not respond to AMM inquiries about the coking unit on
May 3. The German producer has said it expects to sign a sales
agreement for its Steel Americas division sometime this