EU clears ArcelorMittal takeover of Italian peer Ilva

May 8, 2018

The steel and mining giant ArcelorMittal can proceed with the purchase of the Italian steel producer Ilva, the European Commission said on Monday, tying the creation of what will be Europe’s biggest steelmaker to strict conditions to preserve competition.
The merger will see the Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal — the leading producer of so-called flat carbon steel both worldwide and in Europe — buy Ilva’s main asset: Europe’s largest single-site integrated flat carbon steel plant, becoming the largest steel producer in the bloc.
The commission approved the merger after an in-depth investigation over competition concerns.
ArcelorMittal will divest production facilities assets in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Italy, Romania and Macedonia. It will also sell some distribution activities in France and Italy.
The takeover is tied to conditions that include ArcelorMittal selling several of its steel plants to buyers that can “effectively compete” with the company after its acquisition of Ilva.
“Today’s decision makes sure that ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Ilva, creating the by far largest steelmaker in Europe, does not result in higher steel prices — at the expense of European industries, the millions of people they employ and consumers,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
About 360,000 people work in the European Union’s steel sector, making it a key industry across the bloc.
Ilva’s Taranto site in southern Italy was at the centre of a huge legal case in which experts cited by prosecutors have charged that 11,550 people have died from toxic emissions in seven years.