POSCO says no longer considering buying Elkem

SEOUL Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:42am EDT

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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's POSCO (005490.KS), the world's No.3 steelmaker, has dropped its interest in buying Norway's Elkem, a maker of silicon for solar panels.

The South Korean steelmaker was eyeing the cross-border takeover, which analysts estimate may cost around $1 billion.

The departure comes as POSCO is currently in the bidding for control of the country's top logistics firm Korea Express (000120.KS) in a deal worth about $1.5 billion.

POSCO said in a regulatory filing on Friday that it had considered acquiring Elkem but would no longer pursue the acquisition, citing a lack of investment benefits.

Elkem's parent Orkla ASA (ORK.OL) said in January that it was in talks to sell its Elkem unit's silicon assets to China National BlueStar, in a deal that could be one of the biggest industrial takeovers by a Chinese group in Europe.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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