UPDATE 1-Severstal says mulls options for U.S. operations

Wed May 14, 2014 9:15am EDT

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MOSCOW May 14 (Reuters) - Russian steelmaker Severstal said on Wednesday it was considering a range of strategic options in relation to its North American operations.

A Russian source familiar with the matter said on Monday that Severstal had received bids from potential buyers for its operations in the United States which consist of steel plants in Dearborn, Michigan and Columbus, Mississippi.

The company did not name the options it was considering. "Severstal confirms that no decision has yet been taken as to which, if any, such option might be pursued," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Severstal bought the plant in Dearborn in 2003 for $285.5 million and has invested around $1 billion. It built the Columbus plant and launched it in 2007, investing $1.5 billion in total. The plants generated revenue of $3.9 billion in 2013, 30 percent of the company's revenues.

The source said on Monday the sales process was unrelated to the worsening political relations between the United States and Russia over Ukraine. The company had started looking into a sale in September, he added.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the operations could fetch $1.5 billion and that potential buyers were United States Steel Corp and Brazil's Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Elizabeth Piper and David Evans)

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