Commission lays-out steel merger conditions

By Chris Sleight15 July 2014

The European Commission has given the go-ahead to Swedish steel maker SSAB’s acquisition of Finnish rival Rautaruukki. However, it has demanded a number of divestments across the Nordic region.

The assets to be put up for sale are within SSAB’s existing business, and comprise one steel service centre in Sweden and one in Finland, Tibnor, a metals supplier to the manufacturing sector in Finland, Plannja, a Finnish supplier of metallic cladding and roofing systems, and its 50% stake in Norwegian businesses Norsk Stål and Norsk Stål Tynnplater.

SSAB said it would start the divestment process immediately and added that no further regulatory competition approvals were necessary for the merger to go ahead.

The acquisition of Rautaruukki by SSAB was announced in January. It is an all-share deal that will see 1.2131 new class A SSAB shares issued in exchange for every 0.4752 Rautaruukki share. This values the Finnish steel maker at some SEK 10.1 billion (€ 1.1 billion).

The combined company will have annual sales of some SEK 63 billion (€ 7.3 billion), with a focus on high-strength steels and standard strip, plate and tubular products. These are used in both the construction materials and construction equipment industries.

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