Italian government confirms plan for majority Ilva stake

Italian economic development minister Stefano Patuanelli says the government will be a majority shareholder in former steelmaker Ilva, now ArcelorMittal Italia.

During televised question time at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, followed by Kallanish, Patuanelli said the government will be a significant presence. It will guarantee employment, a “greener” Ilva and the sustainability of the new industrial plan. He added that the government “…will not be a minority shareholder”.

According to local press reports, Italian authorities are willing to invest €1 billion ($1.18 billion) to relaunch the steelmaker.

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal Italia has replaced its chief marketing officer, Carlo Malasomma, with Alessandro Faroni, a director under the former Riva ownership. It is also understood that ArcelorMittal is reorganising its commercial structure to shield the Italian unit from its other European activities (see Kallanish 10 November).

ArcelorMittal’s actions, along with the latest government declaration, are adding fuel to the rumours that ArcelorMittal may exit Ilva or keep a heavily reduced stake in the steelmaker.

The parties have until the end of November to reach a final agreement on the planned investment by Italian authorities. In the event an agreement is not reached, AM InvestCo, ArcelorMittal’s Italian entity, has a withdrawal right, subject to an agreed payment of €500 million.