What’s Holding Back ArcelorMittal’s Expansion Spree?




Over the last year, ArcelorMittal (MT) has been looking at acquisitions to further bolster its presence. The company, already the largest steel producer globally, has been looking at new markets like Italy and India, as global steel markets have shown signs of a sustained revival.

ArcelorMittal is no stranger to mergers and acquisitions. ArcelorMittal was preceded by Mittal Steel, founded in 1976 by Lakshmi Mittal. Mittal has built a reputation of turning around struggling steel companies. In 2006, Mittal Steel acquired Arcelor, the biggest steelmaker at the time. Notably, when founded, U.S. Steel (X) was the largest steel producer globally. Currently, Nucor (NUE) is the largest US-based steel producer (AKS).

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While ArcelorMittal has been able to grab Votorantim Siderurgia SA in Brazil, its acquisition efforts in India and Italy have faced challenges. In May, ArcelorMittal announced that it had received permission from the European Commission to acquire Ilva in Italy. ArcelorMittal had agreed to divest some of its assets to get permission.

However, after the elections in Italy, Ilva’s handover has been delayed. According to a Reuters report, Italian Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio said, “The plan as regards both the environment and jobs is not satisfactory. We expect proposals from ArcelorMittal which are better, much better.”

ArcelorMittal’s bid for Essar Steel hasn’t been smooth either. In the next article, we’ll see what’s been hampering ArcelorMittal’s expansion drive in India.


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