(Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, has struck a deal to sell its steelmaking facilities in the Czech Republic, Romania, Macedonia and Italy to Liberty House, it said on Friday.
Metal coils are unloaded from a train at ArcelorMittal steel plant in Ghent, Belgium, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
The sales satisfy part of an agreement with the European Commission related to ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Italian steelmaker Ilva.
The Commission approved the bid for Europe’s biggest steel plant by capacity in May after ArcelorMittal pledged to sell a string of businesses across Europe to address competition concerns.
ArcelorMittal said talks were ongoing for the sale of ArcelorMittal Dudelange in Luxembourg and several finishing lines in Liege, Belgium, which were the other assets included in the agreement with the European Commission.
The steel giant said that the closing of the deal with Liberty House, a metals and industrial group with operations covering more than 30 countries, was subject to completion of the Ilva acquisition.
ArcelorMittal signed a preliminary agreement last year to buy Ilva and had been due to take control of the business on July 1, but the deal met with resistance from Italy’s new government, which questioned the validity of the deal.
In September, however, the company reached agreement with trade unions over the deal, prompting Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio to say he would no longer oppose the takeover.
Reporting by Alan Charlish in Gdynia; Editing by David Goodman