ArcelorMittal, Italy's CDP Lead Rival Bids To Buy Ilva Steel Plant

1 July 2016

ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS) and Italy's Marcegaglia have offered to acquire Italian steel plant Ilva, pitting themselves against a rival joint bid by Italy's state lender CDP, businessman Leonardo Del Vecchio's holding company and steelmaker Arvedi.

The loss-making Ilva group, which Italy's government took over last year to save jobs and clean up polluted factories, said in a statement it had received the two offers.

Ilva is Europe's largest steel plant by output capacity but judges put key parts of it under special administration in 2012 following accusations that it had caused serious health problems in the surrounding Puglia region in southern Italy.

ArcelorMittal said in a joint statement with Marcegaglia it wanted to increase Ilva's primary utilization rate and boost crude steel production at the site in Taranto to over 6 million tonnes a year by 2020.

The world's largest steel producer and its bid partner also said they want to make major capital investments, increase productivity and improve health and safety.

The other bid comes from a joint venture between state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Delfin - owned by Del Vecchio, the founder of eyewear group Luxottica (LUX.MI) - and Arvedi.

ArcelorMittal had sought CDP's backing for its own bid, but the state lender said on Thursday it had a 44.5 percent stake in AcciaItalia, the joint venture behind the other bid, with Delfin holding 33.3 percent and Arvedi 22.2 percent.

An ArcelorMittal executive told an Italian newspaper this month it would take 85 percent of Ilva and Marcegaglia 15 percent, if CDP did not join in.

Neither bidder said how much they were offering for Ilva, but a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the CDP-led group would probably bid between 500 million and 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Ilva's special administrators have 120 days in which to examine the two proposals, and will then start discussing a definitive contract, the statement said. ($1 = 0.9044 euros)


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