Swedish miner LKAB consolidates its stake in steelmaker SSAB

State-owned miner LKAB has increased its stake in SSAB to 16% of the votes and 10.5% of the capital, the company said on June 7.

This was achieved by buying class A-shares while selling class B-shares during the last few weeks, a company spokesman told S&P Global Platts.

LKAB has been a shareholder in SSAB since its IPO in 1989. In February 2020, LKAB increased its ownership to 10.5% of the votes and 10.5% of the capital.

“You could view it as a move to consolidate our new position as the majority shareholder due to our strategic interest in SSAB developing their leadership position in fossil-free steel,” the spokesman said.

SSAB is one of LKAB customer and the two companies are working together in the HYBRIT project. The venture project was started in 2016 also with Vattenfall, a Swedish multinational power company, to create the world’s first fossil-free steel-making technology, with virtually no carbon footprint replacing coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with hydrogen. The goal is to have a solution for fossil-free steel by 2035 that can reduce Sweden’s CO2 emissions by 10% and Finland’s by 7%.

“We are now consolidating our influence in SSAB in order to take responsibility and ensure that the company continues to have a clear industrial ownership influence at a time when the steel industry is facing major change, not least linked to the climate issue,” said Jan Moström, president and CEO of LKAB.

“The change in the value chain we are facing requires that we jointly develop our value chain. With our transition to a supplier of carbon dioxide-free sponge iron, we have a strategic interest in SSAB continuing to develop its leading position in fossil-free steel,” Moström explained.

LKAB is a small player on the global iron ore market, but for the seaborne iron ore pellets, the company is the world’s second-largest supplier.

— Annalisa Villa