ArcelorMittal, world‘s leading integrated steel and mining company, officially announced recently that will sell the plants across Europe, including its unit in Galati, former Sidex, in order to acquire Ilva steel plant in Italy.
The transaction is carried out under the supervision of the European Commission, so that the result leads to the increase of the production in the steel mills taken over and not to its restriction, Deputy Prime Minister Viorel Stefan stated on Tuesday in a press conference, digi24.ro informs.
Moreover, according to him, the privatization contract of the Sidex plant provides that ArcelorMittal needs the Romanian state approval to sell the unit.
“The assignment can only be done with the explicit consent of the Romanian state,” Deputy Prime Minister noted. He also said that a representative of the European Commission will also monitor the situation for the next five to ten years after the transaction.
“Precautionary measures and all the necessary guarantees will be taken so that the production in the steel mill in Galati will increase after this transaction, it will not be restricted, and this will be applied to all the production units that are the subject of this deal,” Viorel Stefan underlined.
In his turn too, Bruno Ribo, CEO ArcelorMittal Galati, said in an interview for news.ro that the sale of the Galati plant is not equivalent to its closure, and employees should not be affected, as the European Commission (EC) wants to raise competition in Europe and not shut down the production capacities.
Moreover, Bogdan Chiritoiu, Competition Council president said that EC will require the future buyer of Sidex Galati to increase the steel production to offset the increased power that ArcelorMittal will have on the market after Italy’s Ilva steel plant taking over. According to him, ArcelorMittal Galati will have to sell to a single investor most of the assets in order to take over the Italian steel giant.
Sources say that ArcelorMittal’s main competitors at European level who could take over the steel units are ThyssenKrupp, Tata and Voestalpine, as well as other smaller manufacturers.