ArcelorMittal, Italian government agree to hearing delay

ArcelorMittal and the Italian government agreed on 7 February to postpone the tribunal hearing over the ownership of the former Italian steelmaker Ilva, Kallanish learns from sources close to the matter.

Just a few hours before the hearing was due to take place last Friday, both parties submitted a draft agreement and asked the tribunal to put off the ruling. The hearing has therefore been postponed to 6 March.

ArcelorMittal’s lawyer, Ferdinando Emanuele, told local media that the company is asking to put off the hearing “… in order to reach an agreement and complete the negotiation”. He has also spoken of the “… serious intention of both parties to carry on with the negotiations,” local media report.

So far unconfirmed reports suggest meanwhile that the draft agreement contains a clause allowing the company to exit the arrangement as from 1 November upon payment of a €400 million penalty. The parties are also said to be negotiating a discount in the purchasing price, although this is once again unsubstantiated. ArcelorMittal declined to comment on the whole matter when approached by Kallanish.

ArcelorMittal Europe chief executive Aditya Mittal said during the group’s annual earnings conference on 6 February that the company remains committed to finding an agreement with Italian authorities. Progress on that has already been made, he added.