Severstal puts North American steel operations up for sale -WSJ

Sun May 11, 2014 2:41pm EDT

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May 11 (Reuters) - Russian steelmaker Severstal has put its North American operations on the auction block, according to people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported on its website.

Officials at Severstal were not immediately available for comment Sunday afternoon.

Severstal's North American operations, comprised of two steel plants in Michigan and Mississippi, could fetch $1.5 billion or more, some of the people said, the paper reported in an article dated on Friday.

Severstal, Russia's second largest steelmaker, has fielded interest from at least two potential buyers, some of the people said, citing United States Steel Corp and Brazil's Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA, according to the article.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel is said to be most interested in Severstal's mill in Dearborn, Michigan. The plant services U.S. automakers in Detroit with long coils of sheet steel, the essential building blocks of cars and trucks, and is near a U.S. Steel facility, the paper said. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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