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ArcelorMittal to sell Piombino steel mill to Arvedi to help clear Ilva deal

The sources did not provide any other details. ArcelorMittal and Arvedi declined to comment

Reuters  |  Milan 


has reached a preliminary agreement to sell its in Piombino, to Italian steelmaker to help get clearance from authorities for its purchase of Ilva, Europe's largest

ArcelorMittal, the world's top steelmaker, reached a 1.8-billion-euro ($2.1 billion) deal to buy Ilva, in southern Italy, in June but the purchase has since stalled thanks to legal challenges and an anti-trust investigation.

Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters the deal was struck this week, and that was moved to dispose of due to concerns over market concentration in the

The sources did not provide any other details. and declined to comment.

Galvanised steel is used in the autos, white goods and construction sectors. The mills make 800,000 tonnes per year of the product.

antitrust authorities in November upgraded their investigation into ArcelorMittal's proposed takeover of Ilva, fearing it will lead to steel price hikes. European are up some 85 percent since Jan. 1 2016.

A few weeks after the anti-trust filing, the Puglia and regions of filed an appeal against the Italian government's approval of ArcelorMittal's environmental plan for

Italian wrote to the of Puglia and of on Friday, urging them to drop a lawsuit that could scupper the deal and sink the planned clean-up operation for

"I ask you to withdraw your suit from the regional courts and not imperil the environmental clean-up," Gentiloni said.

The Puglia governor, Michele Emiliano, said he would be happy to meet the but declined to drop the lawsuit.

ArcelorMittal's proposed takeover of comes as and are looking to combine their European assets, meaning anti-trust authorities are on high alert.

To allay their concerns, Italy's state holding company and have signed a non-binding agreement to join ArcelorMittal's bid for Ilva, replacing former bid partner Marcegaglia, an Italian firm.

The plant has been dogged by charges of corruption and environmental crime for years. In 2012, Italian authorities ruled emissions from the plant had caused deaths, tumours and respiratory diseases. About half the plant's annual 11 million tonne capacity was eventually mothballed.

First Published: Sat, December 23 2017. 02:37 IST