* Does due diligence of Lucchini's Piombino assets
* Considers bid for all assets or just for blast furnace
* Conducts due diligence on Italy's Ilva in parallel
By Maytaal Angel and Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, July 4 ArcelorMittal, the
world's biggest steelmaker, is considering making an offer later
this month for Italy's second largest steel producer Lucchini,
according to Italian union CGIL FIOM.
Lucchini, formerly owned by Russia's Severstal,
was declared insolvent in 2012 and later placed under "special
administration" - a procedure designed to save large companies
and avoid heavy job losses. It fell victim to the 2008 recession
that has cut Europe's steel demand by about a quarter.
"There hasn't been a formal expression of interest yet but
in the last few days ArcelorMittal has been carrying out a sort
of due diligence of the Piombino," said Gianni Venturi, national
co-ordinator for Italian union FIOM CGIL.
Both ArcelorMittal and Lucchini declined to comment when
contacted by Reuters.
Also in the running for Lucchini are India's Jindal Steel
and Power and JSW Steel, though they are not
interested in the company's blast furnace in Piombino, which
employs around 4,000 people directly and indirectly.
"Should ArcelorMittal go ahead with a formal offer, this is
likely to include either all assets or only the blast furnace
since there is already consolidated interest for the processing
lines from the Indian Group Jindal South West (JSW)," said
Italy's unions and politicians favour an offer that includes
a commitment to keep the blast furnace running. The furnace,
idled in April, is part of a complex that last year produced 1
million tonnes of steel or 4 percent of Italy's
Last month, ArcelorMittal said the Italian government had
asked it to consider investing in or buying steelmaker Ilva -
the biggest producer in Europe which is also under special
According to Venturi, ArcelorMittal is carrying out due
diligence on Lucchini in parallel with its assessment of Ilva.
Italian media reports have said heavy liabilities and a need
to protect jobs mean Lucchini could be sold for just one euro.
Italian steel industry body Federacciai estimates Ilva is losing
money at a rate of between 60 million euros ($81.8 million) and
80 million a month.
($1 = 0.7331 Euros)
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Mark Heinrich
and Foo Yun Chee)