Techint Says CSN Sues for $2.65 Billion Over Usiminas

Techint Group said Cia. Siderurgica Nacional SA has filed suit in Brazil seeking 5.26 billion reais ($2.65 billion) in payments for minority shareholders related to the purchase of a stake in Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA.

The suit alleges that Techint’s Ternium SA and Tenaris SA subsidiaries were required under Brazilian law to offer minority shareholders like CSN 80 percent of the 36 reais-a-share they paid for a stake in Brazil’s second-largest steelmaker, the units said in separate statements today. Sao Paulo-based CSN declined to confirm the lawsuit.

Techint, founded by Italy’s billionaire Rocca family, last year acquired a 27.7 percent voting stake in Usiminas, becoming one of three entities in a group that controls the company. The purchase thwarted takeover efforts by CSN, which built a 20.14 percent stake in Belo Horizonte, Brazil-based Usiminas’s preferred stock and 11.97 percent of its common shares.

“CSN’s allegations are groundless and without merit, as confirmed by several opinions of Brazilian counsel and previous decisions by Brazil’s securities regulator,” Ternium and Tenaris said in the statements. Buying the stake and becoming a member of the controlling group doesn’t trigger the automatic offer to other minority shareholders, the units said.

Usiminas declined to comment. Its voting shares climbed 4.1 percent to 11.25 reais at the close in Sao Paulo today, the most since Jan. 2 and the second-best performer on Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa Index. The company’s preferred shares rose 0.9 percent to 10.03 reais.

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