AK Steel CEO shows interest in mills for sale in Brazil, U.S.

NEW YORK Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:38pm EDT

NEW YORK Oct 23 (Reuters) - AK Steel Holding Corp might be interested in the two steel mills in Brazil and the United States that Germany's ThyssenKrupp has put up for sale, the U.S. company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

"Everybody is interested under the right circumstances; we could certainly have an interest as well," CEO James Wainscott said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

Several global steel companies have made first round bids for the ThyssenKrupp assets, but Ohio-based AK Steel was not among those bidders, a source close to the sale process in Germany told Reuters last month.

ThyssenKrupp said in May it was considering all options for the loss-making mills, which have a book value of 7 billion euros ($9 billion) combined.

During Tuesday's call, Wainscott was asked for his view of the markets in light of ThyssenKrupp selling the slab-finishing mill in Brazil and its plant in Alabama.

"I would just acknowledge that there will be a lot of challenges to work through. But...there are interesting assets. Candidly, there are assets that are an awful lot like (the plant) we built at Rockport (Indiana) some 15 years ago and there are assets that are of interest to a lot of folks, including AK Steel," Wainscott said.

Wainscott did not indicate whether AK Steel had made a bid or was considering one and a spokesman for the company was not immediately available for comment.

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