U.S. Steel denies sale of Slovak business to Metinvest

BRATISLAVA Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:41am EST

BRATISLAVA Nov 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Steel Corp's denied on Saturday a newspaper report saying it had sold its Slovak operation to Ukrainian mining group and steel producer Metinvest.

The Slovak economic daily Hospodarske Noviny cited sources as saying an agreement was signed late on Friday.

"The situation from earlier this week has not changed," Jan Baca, spokesman for U.S. Steel Kosice said in response to the report.

Metinvest was not available for an immediate comment.

U.S. Steel Kosice, the euro zone country's largest private corporate employer with more than 11,000 staff including subsidiaries, said on Monday investors had expressed interest in the subsidiary located in eastern Slovakia.

Slovak unit of the Pittsburg-based parent company is an important supplier for Slovakia's booming car industry, the key driver of the small and export-reliant economy, one of the European Union's fastest growing despite current crisis.

Steelmaking conglomerate Thyssen, in the midst of a restructuring to cut debt and refocus the group on its core European business, has denied any interest in the company.

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