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Mittal Steel appears unable to forge deal with HCz

Mittal Steel will probably not purchase the Czestochowa Steel Mill (HCz), as it is unlikely to sign a social package with Czestochowa's employees by today's deadline.

This would allow Ukraine's Donbas to get back in the running for the steel mill, after it had lost out to Mittal which was granted exclusive negotiation rights in February. This decision of the Treasury was based on the price offered by the two bidders - zl.1.25 billion by Mittal and zl.1.1 billion by Donbas, but it almost led to a crisis in Polish-Ukrainian relations. However, now that Mittal has failed to strike a deal with the mill's unions, the Treasury Ministry is unlikely to go ahead with the deal, although theoretically it could do so. Donbas is already moving in, having staged a press conference yesterday, during which Donbas' director for investments, Aleksander Pilipenko said that his company is actually offering more than Mittal Steel, if the value of declared investment and the value of the social package are added to the purchase price.

(WBJ 03.v.05)

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