Department Of Justice Orders Arcelor Mittal To Divest Steel Mill

Sparrows Point facility near Baltimore is mill to be divested.

The U.S. Justice Department said Feb. 21 that it would require Arcelor Mittal to divest a large U.S. steel mill located near Baltimore, Md., to resolve concerns about its recent merger. "The Department of Justice today announced that it will require Mittal Steel Company N.V. to divest its Sparrows Point facility located near Baltimore, Maryland, to remedy the competitive harm arising from Mittal's recent $33 billion acquisition of Arcelor S.A," the Justice Department said.

It said "the acquisition, as originally proposed, would have substantially lessened competition in the market for tin mill products in the eastern United States."

The U.S. government last August had approved Mittal's acquisition of Arcelor on the basis that Arcelor divested a Canadian company it owned called Dofasco Inc. However, Arcelor was unable to divest the Canadian group due to ownership hurdles, and the Justice Department has now opted to require Arcelor to divest the Baltimore steel mill instead to satisfy merger concerns

The Sparrows Point plant in Baltimore is a profitable and diversified facility, according to the Justice Department, which said it has the annual capacity to produce over 500,000 tons of tin mill products. The plant makes steel slabs used in the manufacture of tin mill products.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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