International Steel Eyes Bethlehem
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ International Steel Group said Tuesday it might make an offer to buy all or part of Bethlehem Steel, which has been in bankruptcy proceedings for more than a year.
Rodney Mott, chief executive of ISG, a recently formed, privately held company based in Cleveland, said in a statement that Bethlehem Steel has granted it exclusive rights for 60 days to investigate a possible acquisition.
``We will try to determine quickly the extent to which Bethlehem’s facilities complement ours as well as the potential for cost saving and cross selling,″ Mott said.
Robert S. Miller, Bethlehem Steel’s chairman and CEO, said the agreement was part of ``prudent contingency planning″ for the Pennsylvania steelmaker, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Oct. 15, 2001. He said Bethlehem Steel would continue to pursue stand-alone reorganization plans in the meantime.
Mott said ISG would work with Bethlehem management and the United Steel Workers of America to try to develop an attractive acquisition proposal.
Steelworkers president Leo W. Gerard said the union favors a consolidated steel industry and ``we’re hopeful that the combination of ISG and Bethlehem could be an important step in the right direction.″
ISG purchased and reopened facilities from bankrupt LTV Steel, beginning production in May at a plant in Cleveland.
On the Net:
Bethlehem Steel: http://www.bethsteel.com