AK Steel makes offer for National Steel

AK Steel Corp. has offered to acquire substantially all of the steelmaking and finishing assets of National Steel Corp. for USD 1025 billion. “This represents a superior bid for the assets of National Steel and a strategic acquisition for AK Steel,” says Richard M. Wardrop Jr., Chairman and CEO of AK Steel. “The National operations would further diversify AK Steel’s rich product mix to include tin mill and construction market products, and presents the opportunity for significant cost-based synergies. It also presents an opportunity for AK Steel and the USWA to forge a constructive new labour agreement that helps insure that a consolidated US steel industry remains competitive with steelmakers world-wide.”
National has been operating since March of 2002 as a debtor-in-possession under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. AK Steel said it will seek, in a hearing on January 30, to have the bankruptcy court declare it the lead bidder in the competitive bidding process for National’s assets. AK Steel said its offer is contingent upon regulatory and bankruptcy court approvals. In addition, the bid contemplates negotiation of a new contract with the United Steelworkers of America, which represents most of National’s hourly employees. AK Steel said its bid does not include the assumption of pension and other post-retirement employee benefits, which consist primarily of retiree health care liabilities.

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