Slovakia may offer U.S. Steel incentives to remain as mill owner
U.S. Steel Corp. has yet to complete talks to sell its steel mill in Slovakia, prompting officials in the eastern European nation to push to keep the steelmaker there, Slovak Premier Robert Fico said.
The government is ready to offer incentives to ensure the company remains at the local plant, one of the largest employers in the country, Fico said. He met on Tuesday with the unit's chief executive officer, David Rintoul, in Bratislava, the capital.
Jan Baca, a spokesman for U.S. Steel, declined to comment on the government's offer. The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said Nov. 13 it received an offer for the company's last European steel mill and is considering it.
“Based on the direction of the discussion, I think that they will rather leave,” Fico said. “If they choose to stay, the government is ready to talk about the conditions.”
U.S. Steel is paring back operations in Europe, where slowing demand is weighing on prices and shipments. In January, it sold its Serbian mill for $1, triggering a $399 million charge in the first quarter.
The charge led to U.S. Steel reporting a $219 million loss in the first quarter.
U.S. Steel's European segment lost $162 million in 2011, and a “continued difficult economic environment” was expected there in 2012, CEO John Surma said this year.
The Slovak plant has been more profitable because it makes higher-grade steel for autos, officials have said.
U.S. Steel bought its Slovak operations in 2000 for $475 million. The operations have an annual production capacity of 5 million tons and include two coke batteries, three blast furnaces and other units that produce sheets, tin-mill products and pipes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New York farmers lament lost opportunity for gas riches
- Energy sector adjusts to global oil plummet
- U.S. coal mines nearing record low in worker deaths
- ‘Staff Pick’ is golden ticket on Kickstarter
- Drought opens Texas ranchers’ eyes to income options
- Makers of wine corks have lost ground to screw tops
- Kim Komando: Can you get a virus on your smartphone?
- Diane Stafford: Consider digital footprint
- Mind the time: Optimize last-minute shopping
- Agriculture prospects envisioned in Cuba
- 3 tips to use up health account funds