NEW YORK -- Steel manufacturing giant ArcelorMittal (IW 1000/43) and Nippon Steel & Sumimoto Metal (IW 1000/92) said they agreed to buy a U.S. steel plant owned by ThyssenKrupp (IW 1000/75) for $1.55 billion.

The agreement is for a 50-50 joint venture partnership between ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel..

The ThyssenKrupp plant in question is located in Calvert, Ala. and has a total capacity of 5.3 million tons of steel destined mainly for auto manufacturing and construction.

The purchase will be financed through a combination of equity and debt at the joint venture level.

ArcelorMittal Nippon already jointly produce steel in Indiana.

The deal includes a six-year agreement to buy two million tons of slab annually from TK CSA, an integrated steel mill complex located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, using a market-based price formula.

The yen's plunge against the dollar since late last year has improved Japanese automakers' income, but Nippon Steel believes they will continue shifting automobile production overseas, the Nikkei Economic Daily reported earlier.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013