* CSN is finalizing funding details ahead of proposal
* Sources said Brazil's CSN is eyeing Steel Americas
* Deal for Thyssen is moving ahead well, source says
* Ternium bid for Thyssen's CSA unit, Valor reported
By Sabrina Lorenzi and Guillermo Parra-Bernal
RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, March 15 Brazilian
steelmaker CSN, or Cia Siderúrgica Nacional SA, is
still in the race to purchase ThyssenKrupp AG's Steel Americas
unit, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters
CSN is ironing out financing conditions with Brazil's state
development bank BNDES that could make the acquisition of Steel
Americas more feasible, one of the sources said in the condition
of anonymity. For months, CSN has been looking for ways to make
BNDES a partner in the acquisition, Reuters reported recently.
An answer from ThyssenKrupp on the sale is
expected by the end of March, both sources said. CSN is offering
$3.8 billion for Steel Americas, which is comprised of a slab
processing plant in Alabama and a 73 percent stake in Brazilian
slabmaking mill CSA..
"The process is now in ThyssenKrupp's hands," said the first
A potential acquisition of Steel Americas is seen as having
negative implications for CSN, whose stock has shed about 30
percent since news of the bid emerged. Analysts such as Deutsche
Bank Securities' Rodrigo Barros said the purchase would
contribute negative earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortization for CSN, boost debt and distract management
from undertaking more profitable projects.
Spokespeople for CSN and ThyssenKrupp declined to comment.
Calls to a Ternium spokesman in Buenos Aires were not
immediately answered. A BNDES spokesman did not respond to calls
on his mobile phone seeking comment.
It is not clear whether BNDES could extend a credit facility
to CSN or participate in the deal as a partner. For months,
there has been speculation the Brazilian government would bless
the purchase as a way to keep Thyssen's assets in Brazilian
CSN shares fell 0.1 percent to 10.09 reais, extending their
drop in the past 12 months to 14.2 percent.
The second source said ThyssenKrupp wants to conclude the
sale of Steel Americas before the end of September. A third
source told Reuters on Friday that a number of consortia are
still eyeing a potential purchase of part or all of Steel
Americas and that the process is moving ahead well.
Brazilian Valor Econômico newspaper reported that
Italian-Argentine steelmaker Ternium SA was planning to make a
binding offer for Thyssen's CSA mill in Brazil. The proposal by
Ternium is not "financially attractive," which could lead
ThyssenKrupp to put off the process for a few months, Valor
The Valor report highlighted the challenges facing the
German company as it seeks to shed money-losing assets like CSA
to restore investor confidence.
ThyssenKrupp took a big writedown on the value of the Steel
Americas unit last year. The company sought to carve out new
markets with the construction of two mills in Brazil and the
United States during the middle of the last decade but the
projects were hit by cost overruns, poor project management and