ArcelorMittal Italia closes in on deal: reports

According to local broadsheet Repubblica,the Italian government is willing to invest €1 billion ($1.18 billion) to relaunch the steelmaker formerly known as Ilva, now ArcelorMittal Italia.

The Italian government has designated Invitalia to negotiate with AM InvestCo, ArcelorMittal’s Italian entity. The amended lease and purchase agreement for Ilva states that the government’s equity investment is to be executed by 30 November. In the event this does not happen, AM InvestCo has a withdrawal right, subject to an agreed payment of €500 million, sources tell Kallanish.

The original industrial plan involved pushing up Taranto’s output to 8 million tonnes/year. However, government negotiators are now rumoured to be compromising on this plan due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on steel demand. They are said to be willing to achieve this output over a longer period of time.

Meanwhile, according to local press reports unsubstantiated by the company, in a letter to Italian authorities, Italian steelmaker Arvedi has stated its intention to take part in the relaunch of the former Ilva. When contacted by Kallanish, however, Arvedi denied these reports.

The deadline of 30 November seems to be pushing for a definitive solution to the painfully long negotiations. Meanwhile, in a sign of relaxing tones between the company and the government, ArcelorMittal has agreed to pay all its outstanding debts with suppliers together with the latest lease instalment due to expire at the beginning of November. The company’s debts have already gone down from €40m to €20m (see Kallanish 28 October).