NEW YORK: Mittal Steel Co, ordered by the Justice Department to sell a plant in Maryland, is expected to draw bids from major companies in India, China and Russia, as the number of plants for sale is dwindling, a Wall Street Journal report said on 22 February.
The Sparrows Point plant, near Baltimore, is more accessible than inland operations for imports of raw materials and exports of steel. It can produce about 3.9 million tonnes of steel a year, including 500,000 tonnes of tin plate used to make cans for food, aerosols, paints and other products and the Journal said it could fetch upwards of $1 billion (Rs4,418 billion).
Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steel producer, cancelled an agreement to sell a mill in West Virginia after the US ordered the company to sell Maryland plant to preserve competition in the tinplate market.
The agreement to sell the mill in Weirton to Esmark Inc, a Chicago-based steel company, is “no longer valid,” said as per the Chief Financial Officer Aditya Mittal, as per the analysts.
The company will keep the plant and instead sell a tinplate mill in Sparrows Point near Baltimore, he said. Mittal planned to sell the Weirton mill to satisfy the US anti trust requirements following the company’s $38.3 billion acquisition of Arcelor SA last year.
The Justice Department ruled that selling Sparrows Point would “most reliably” maintain competition in the eastern US tinplate industry. Craig Bouchard, Esmark president said that the company could be interested in Sparrows Point if it can negotiate long-term access to raw materials.