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CSN May Consider Bid for ThyssenKrupp Rio Plant, CEO Says

Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA, Brazil’s third-largest steelmaker by output, may consider bidding for a steel plant in Rio de Janeiro state that ThyssenKrupp AG may sell.

CSN, as the Sao Paulo-based company is known, is waiting for ThyssenKrupp to disclose further details about the plant before considering a possible bid, Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Steinbruch told reporters at an event in Rio today. CSN hasn’t hired banks as advisers on the possibility of a deal, he said.

The plant “is on the table, it’s clear that we will analyze it as the rest will do,” Steinbruch said. “Whenever they disclose the details, something that still hasn’t happened, we will certainly be interested in studying it.”

ThyssenKrupp, Germany’s biggest steelmaker, said May 15 a sale of its Brazilian and U.S. plants is among “strategic options” for its unprofitable Americas unit. The company, which in 2010 began operating its CSA steel-slabs plant in Rio after a 5.2 billion-euro ($6.6 billion) investment, faces output costs in Brazil that are rising “disproportionately,” it said.

ThyssenKrupp built the facility, with a capacity of 5 million metric tons a year, to supply an estimated 3 million tons of steel slabs to its mills in Calvert, near Mobile, Alabama, and the rest to Germany.

Delays at the CSA plant contributed to impairment charges of 2.9 billion euros in the last fiscal year, when it reported a loss. ThyssenKrupp owns a 73.1 percent stake in CSA, while Vale SA owns the remaining 26.9 percent.

Separately, Steinbruch said today that CSN’s Transnordestina project, which involves the 1,728-kilometer (1,071-mile) extension of a railway in Northeastern Brazil, will require 7.5 billion reais ($3.66 billion) of investment. That’s 39 percent more than the 5.4 billion reais previously disclosed by CSN.

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