U.S. Steel Continues Talks on Slovakia Exit, Premier Fico Says

U.S. Steel Corp. continues talks with the Slovak government on a possible exit from the country after the administration offered incentives to stay, Premier Robert Fico said.

The largest U.S. steel producer by volume has said it is in negotiations to sell its Slovak plant, one of the largest employers in the eastern euro-area member country. The administration has offered the company incentives related to electricity charges, transportation and environment, Fico said.

“There have been proposals, which U.S. Steel considers interesting and feasible,” Fico said at a press conference in Bratislava, Slovakia, today. “Both parties are strongly interested to continue in talks and find a solution that the investor could stay.”

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker is scaling back operations in Europe, where slowing demand is weighing on prices and shipments. A year ago, it sold its Serbian mill for $1, triggering a $450 million charge.

U.S. Steel bought its Slovak operations in 2000 for $475 million. The Kosice-based plant, whose annual capacity is 5 million tons, has two coke batteries, three blast furnaces and units that produce sheets, tin-mill products and pipes.

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