EC likely to clear Marcegaglia’s plate acquisition soon

The European Commission was set to clear the acquisition of Italy-based plate rolling mill Palini e Bertoli by Marcegaglia — Europe’s largest reroller — by the end of November, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Marcegaglia has been in advanced talks for several weeks to buy Palini e Bertoli from Russia’s Evraz. If the deal goes ahead, Marcegaglia will expand its 400,000 mt/year plate-making capacity to around 850,000 mt/year.

Marcegaglia’s range of steel heavy plates is manufactured in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Northeast Italy. The plant processes metal heavy plates up to 200 mm thick and with a maximum rolling width of 2700 mm.

The fabrication of quarto plates also includes heat treatment to obtain an extremely wide range of metal grades and manufacturing standards.

Evraz has been attempting to divest Palini e Bertoli for some time as plate is no longer part of its core business. Evraz stopped being an important player in the steel plate market after selling its Czech heavy plate mill, Vitkovice Steel, in early 2014.

After the 2018 sale of Petrovsky Dnepropetrovsk Iron & Steel Works in Ukraine, also equipped with plate capacity, Palini e Bertoli remained Evraz’s only plate facility, but the company’s product range narrowed significantly.

Evraz no longer ships slabs from its Russian steelworks to its Italian reroller. The steelmaker supplies its Italian operations with slabs purchased from Ukrainian group Metinvest, which also owns a plate mill, Trametal, located in the same Italian municipality as Palini & Bertoli. It is cheaper to ship slab to Italy from Ukraine than from the Urals, let alone Siberia, where Evraz makes the semi-finished product.

Evraz Palini e Bertoli produces the following range of hot-rolled quarto plate: thicknesses of 10-250 mm and widths of 1,500-3,000 mm, according to its website.

Evraz and Marcegaglia both declined to comment.

— Annalisa Villa and Katya Bouckley