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NEW YORK, June 17 The Italian government has
asked ArcelorMittal SA to consider investing in or
buying troubled Italian steel producer Ilva, the chief executive
officer of the world's largest steelmaker said on Tuesday.
"We have been invited by the Italian government to look at
it. That does not mean that we are going to acquire it," CEO
Lakshmi Mittal said on the sidelines of the Steel Success
Strategies conference in New York.
He played down the potential for a speedy decision though,
saying it will be a long, drawn-out process with social,
political and economic problems making the situation very
Among other parties which have showed some interest in
buying a stake in the loss-making plant are Italian steel
companies Marcegaglia and Arvedi and Indian steel producer
Jindal, sources said.
The Ilva complex, Europe's biggest steel plant by capacity
and one of the largest employers in southern Italy, has been
under special administration since June last year.
Its existence is now under threat since it is losing cash at
a rate of 60 million to 80 million euros ($81.7-$108.9 million)
a month, according to Italian steel industry body Federacciai.
($1 = 0.7345 euros)
(Reporting by Allison Martell; Writing by Josephine Mason;
Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Marguerita Choy)