The management team at the ex-Ilva assets, appointed by Luxembourg-based steelmaker ArcelorMittal, has been changed today, sources said.
Market participants interpret the move as a step closer to the company’s exit of the Italian market, as employees appointed by ArcelorMittal after it took control of Ilva in 2018 are stepping down to return to other operations.
But a spokesperson for the company said it “remains in negotiations with the Italian government and is focused on finding a solution for a sustainable future for steelmaking in Taranto.”
The government and ArcelorMittal were previously required to reach an agreement by the end of January, but sources say this is increasingly unlikely to happen. The deadline is now being pushed to 7 February, but a meeting scheduled between the Italian Prime Minister and ArcelorMittal owner Lakshmi Mittal at the 24-25 January World Economic Forum in Davos was cancelled.
Expectations are that the producer will go through with its plan to leave the investment in Italy, which market participants speculate would see output at Ilva plummet, as the government regains control over operations.
By Lora Stoyanova