* Italian PM said deal expected within days
* Labour union opposes piecemeal sale, wants steelmaking
* Sources say bid amount small, focus on rolling mills
* Job cuts likely under JSW offer
By Krishna N Das and Silvia Antonioli
NEW DELHI/LONDON, Aug 13 Italy's claims that a
sale of parts of insolvent Italian steelmaker Lucchini to
India's JSW Steel will be concluded within days are
premature, a top JSW executive said on Wednesday.
Lucchini, formerly owned by Russia's Severstal,
was declared insolvent in 2012 and placed under special
administration after falling victim to plunging European demand
for steel during the 2008 recession.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday that a
deal between Lucchini and JSW Steel, controlled by billionaire
Sajjan Jindal, would be concluded in "a matter of days".
However, JSW Joint Managing Director Seshagiri Rao said the
company has yet to finalise any deal, with union and industry
sources saying that opposition from a leading Italian labour
union to any piecemeal sale of Lucchini could delay a deal
"We are one of the bidders, yes. But all I can say at the
moment is that we have not concluded anything," Rao said in
Mumbai, declining to give further details but adding that he had
no plans for to travel to Italy for further talks.
JSW was left as the only Indian bidder when Jindal Steel and
Power, controlled by Sajjan's brother Naveen, pulled
out after showing initial interest, Jindal Steel CEO Ravi Uppal
A spokesman for Lucchini declined to comment.
STEELMAKING FUTURE AT RISK
Lucchini, with most assets in the port city of Piombino, on
the Tuscany coast, owns a blast furnace, a steel mill, a coke
plant, three re-rolling mills and facilities at the port.
It can produce about 2.5 million tonnes of steel a year.
Yet its steelmaking future is at risk because Jindal's plan
is for Lucchini to process steel made elsewhere, three industry
and union sources said.
The first source close to JSW, who declined to be named as
he is not authorised to talk to media, said that the company has
made a binding bid for two processing facilities only - the wire
rod mill and a rail mill - and that the "bid amount is not big".
Two industry sources in Italy said that the bid also
included Lucchini's third rolling mill, the bar mill, and the
The offers have created friction with Italian labour union
FIOM because these assets employee less than half of Lucchini's
"On the one hand the prime minister says it's a matter of
days and on the other hand there are reports of unions being
unhappy," the source close to JSW said.
FIOM said that JSW's offer will not be welcome unless it
commits to keeping Lucchini's steelmaking operations.
"Piombino has to be reborn as a new steel mill. If Jindal
thinks he can come here and only take the rolling mills and port
facilities and transform us into a service centre, he faces
strong opposition," FIOM's Piombino representative Mirko Lami
(Additional reporting by Aman Shah; Editing by David Goodman)