ArcelorMittal willing to part with ADI stake: sources

ArcelorMittal chief executive Aditya Mittal says the steelmaker is open to an amicable solution to its conflict with authorities over troubled steelmaker Acciaierie d’Italia (ADI). The ceo wrote as much in a letter received last week by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, sources close to the matter confirm to Kallanish.

ArcelorMittal is willing to give up its stake to partner Invitalia for a price that “is only a fraction” of the company’s investment into ADI since 2018, the document says. While Invitalia has refused ArcelorMittal’s offer, the steelmaking group assures it is still on the table.

Other options of collaboration are also possible, including continuing to manage ADI as a minority shareholder for a limited period of time, thereby giving Invitalia the time to find a more permanent solution. Mittal reiterates the group is willing to dilute its ownership to a minority shareholder, lose joint control of ADI, and/or sell to an investor chosen by the government for a fair price that would at least cover its last contribution.

Last week, state-owned Invitalia sent a letter to its ADI joint venture partner, ArcelorMittal, seeking an agreement before the extraordinary administration procedure is initiated. If the company fails to reply within 14 days from receiving the document, the administration will commence.

In a note seen by Kallanish, the government said it guarantees €320 million ($348m) to cover the steelmaker’s immediate needs. The extraordinary administration phase will be temporary and the government is looking for the best private partners to safeguard production continuity, protect employment and guarantee worker safety.

This follows a new decree clearing the way for the implementation of the special administration to prepare for the departure of ArcelorMittal. Authorities are exploring all options to reach a consensual divorce with ArcelorMittal. Multiple large steel companies confirm to Kallanish to have been contacted by authorities about becoming possible private investors (see Kallanish passim).

According to preliminary data, last year ADI registered steel output below 3 million tonnes. This is below the initial objective of 4mt in 2023, while 5mt had been envisaged for 2024.

ArcelorMittal declined to comment.

Natalia Capra France