Slovakia still in talks with U.S. Steel over mill

BRATISLAVA Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:03am EST

BRATISLAVA Jan 22 (Reuters) - Slovakia remains keen for U.S. Steel Corp to keep ownership of its steel mill, the largest private employer in the euro zone country.

"There is interest on both sides to continue these negotiations and find a solution for this investor to stay in Slovakia," Prime Minister Robert Fico told reporters on Wednesday.

U.S. Steel Kosice, with 11,000 staff, is an important supplier to the car industry, a key export sector. The government, fearing heavy job losses if U.S. Steel were to leave, has been looking for options to persuade it to remain.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said in November it had received interest in its subsidiary in the eastern Slovak town of Kosice and was studying bids from an undisclosed number of investors.

Fico, in power since April, said special teams were studying options in the energy, environment and transport areas, looking for ways to cut costs.