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Algeria to Nationalize ArcelorMittal Plant

Translated Thursday 28 February 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

This piece of news should interest the Ministers for Industry of France, Luxemburg and Belgium, who meet on Feb. 12 to discuss ArcelorMittal’s activites in their countries. Algeria will take control of the plant in Annaba wilaya (province), in which the steel corporation has, until now, held a 70% stake.

The take-over plan has been revealed by the Algerian daily newspaper El Watan. The Algerian government will increase its stake in the Algerian plant, which Mittal bought from Algeria in 2001. The public-sector company Sider is expected to pay $200 million and increase its stake from 30% to 51%.

The take-over is intended to save the steel plant, which has been facing serious financial problems for the past two years. Already in January 2012, the Algerian government came to Mittal’s rescue by granting it 140 million euros in aid through a public-sector bank, in return for a promise from ArcelorMittal to invest in the plant in El Hadjar and to increase its production capacity. The plant presently turns out over a million tons of steel a year.

Massive intervention

El Watan notes that “despite the realization of these financial measures, the financial situation of ArcelorMittal d’Annaba (AMA) reached a critical level (…) in October 2012. One month later, AMA again requested massive government intervention in order to maintain the company’s activities in Algeria.”

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