* Thyssen, CSN, Vale could each have one third stake-source
* Cap hike of $750 mln for Brazil plant considered - source
* Thyssen declines to comment on possible joint ownership
By Arno Schuetze and Tom Käckenhoff
FRANKFURT, Germany, May 3 Germany's ThyssenKrupp
is considering keeping a stake in Brazilian steel mill
CSA, which would force it to inject more money into the
business, a person familiar with the matter said.
Thyssen has been trying to find a buyer for its loss-making
Steel Americas business, which comprises CSA and a steel plant
in the U.S. state of Alabama. Thyssen owns 73 percent of CSA,
while Brazilian miner Vale holds the rest.
"One of the options that has emerged is that ThyssenKrupp
would sell a one-third stake to (Brazilian steelmaker) CSN
. Vale and Thyssen would also hold one third each,"
the source told Reuters on Friday on condition of anonymity
because the talks are private.
To finance necessary investments at CSA, the three owners
would inject a total of $750 million in fresh capital, the
Thyssen has said in the past it hoped to find a buyer for
Steel Americas by May. It is due to publish results for its
fiscal second quarter on May 15, but another person familiar
with the talks told Reuters Thyssen was unlikely to be ready to
announce a deal by then due to their complexity.
Thyssen spent a combined 12 billion euros ($15.7 billion) to
build the Steel Americas mills, but they lost about 1 billion
euros in the year ended September 2012.
Thyssen has also said it may sell the sites in Brazil and
the United States separately rather than as one package.
On Friday, Thyssen said it aimed to reach a deal on Steel
Americas in the near future, adding talks involved Vale,
Brazilian state-run development bank BNDES and Brazilian
A spokesman for the company declined to comment on whether
the option of keeping a stake in CSA was being discussed.
Sources familiar with the matter said Thyssen was also in
talks over Steel Americas with CSN, as well as a consortium of
ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, and
Japan's Nippon Steel.
Both sets of bidders are offering more than $3 billion, but
far less than the 3.9-billion-euro book value of the business,
the sources said.
Analysts at UBS said market expectations for the sale were
so low now that any price above 800 million euros for the whole
unit could lift Thyssen's share price.
U.S. Steel and Nucor have put in bids just for
the U.S.-based steel mill, the sources familiar with the matter
added. Ternium, which controls Brazilian steelmaker
Usiminas, said earlier this week that it had pulled
out of the bidding.
Due to its disastrous expansion in the Americas, Thyssen
last year posted a 4.7-billion-euro loss, while net debt climbed
61 percent to 5.8 billion euros. That prompted the group to
looking into ways of strengthening its finances, sources have
said in the past.
Thyssen continues to discuss a possible share issue, one
source familiar with the matter said. "A cap hike is not a must,
but there are scenarios being discussed for which it is clear
that that would be needed," the source said.