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Acerinox Jumps on ThyssenKrupp Unit Merger Talks: Madrid Mover

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Acerinox SA, the world’s largest stainless-steel producer, rose the most in 11 months after rival ThyssenKrupp AG discussed merging its Inoxum stainless unit with Finland’s Outokumpu Oyj.

Acerinox climbed 4.9 percent to 10.89 euros, valuing the Madrid-based company at 2.71 billion euros ($3.53 billion). Options for Inoxum include an initial public offering, spinoff or sale, Essen, Germany-based ThyssenKrupp said today in a statement.

“This could be a significant step in the long-awaited consolidation of the European stainless-steel sector, marked by a structural overcapacity,” Manuel Coelho, an analyst at Banco BPI based in Porto, Portugal, wrote in a note to investors today. “We note however that the combination of Inoxum and Outokumpu should raise antitrust hurdles.”

European stainless producers have struggled for years with overcapacity, sliding profit and rising costs while failing to agree on mergers. Moody’s Investors Service said in August the companies had been unable to value their assets at levels that allowed deals to go ahead. Combinations may also be opposed by European Union antitrust authorities, the ratings company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net