Four show interest to acquire AST

The ceo of Acciai Speciali (AST) Terni Massimiliano Burelli has told Italian media that two foreign groups together have expressed their interest to buy out AST, the Italian specialty steel maker controlled by ThyssenKrupp. Two Italian companies, Italian steelmaker Arvedi and re-roller Marcegaglia have also shown an interest but the two foreign groups have asked to remain anonymous.

In an interview with local broadsheet Il Messaggero, Burelli has also expressed a negative opinion about the interest of AST’s major client Marcegaglia. “The Group Marcegaglia has written a letter to ThyssenKrupp showing interest for AST… I would like to remind the Marcegaglia siblings that other letters of interest have been received and introducing themselves to the authorities and the unions here in the city (of Terni) doesn’t mean anything. Instead, from a certain standpoint, it complicates things”, Burelli said. He referred to a visit that Antonio and Emma Marcegaglia made last week to the local authorities and the unions to introduce their company. They also illustrated the possible industrial synergies that could take place if Marcegaglia managed to secure Terni.

A union source close to the matter tells Kallanish that unions are not prejudiced regarding any buyer and will consider the industrial plan, investments and job creation but will not accept any job cuts.

Thyssenkrupp is seeking either a partnership or a sale for its Italian subsidiary. Pursuing its restructuring strategy, the company is considering for certain assets “… the best prospects for the future – a place under the thyssenkrupp umbrella, in a partnership or outside the company. With this reassessment of the portfolio, we have taken some difficult decisions that were long overdue and will now implement them systematically. thyssenkrupp will emerge smaller but stronger from the transformation”, Chief Executive Officer Martina Merz said in a note sent to Kallanish (see Kallanish 19 May).