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ThyssenKrupp to open books to remaining bidders for US and Brazil plants
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Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012

Reuters reported that ThyssenKrupp will open its books to remaining prospective bidders for its US and Brazilian steel mills and ask them to make binding offers for the loss making plants.

ThyssenKrupp said in May 2012 that it was considering all options for the mills, including a partnership or a sale, to halt losses there and concentrate on its European business. The plants were supposed to give it a foothold in the Americas but have struggled with rising costs and weak demand.

ThyssenKrupp said in a statement that "In the second phase that has now been started, selected bidders will be given the opportunity to analyse the plants in a so called due diligence and to make binding offers."

It reaffirmed that the two steel mills which comprise its Steel Americas unit could be sold in a bundle or separately.

Two people close to the process told Reuters last week that second round offers were due last week and the field of bidders for the mills was down to around half a dozen.

They said at the time that US Steel and rival Nucor were still in the running, as were Japanese groups JFE Steel Corp and Nippon Steel, and Brazil's CSN. Final bids were due next month.

South Korea's POSCO, China's Baosteel and Brazilian iron ore miner Vale, which owns just over a quarter of ThyssenKrupp's Brazilian plant, are not bidding. It was not clear whether ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, was still in the running.

ThyssenKrupp CEO Mr Heinrich Hiesinger has said he would want to sell the mills separately for at least their combined book value of EUR 7 billion, a target that analysts have viewed with skepticism.

Sources told Reuters last month that ThyssenKrupp asked bidders to resubmit their offers because it deemed the initial bids too low.

US based AK Steel Holding Corporation has also said it might be interested in the two steel mills.

Steel Americas, the division that includes both sites, posted an adjusted loss before interest and tax of EUR 778 million for the nine months to the end of June 2012 and is reportedly heading for a full year loss of more than EUR 1 billion.

Source - Reuters


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