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Steel giant enters Orava metal company

INTERNATIONAL steel company ArcelorMittal has bought the Orava metallurgical plant of Slovakia’s OFZ company.

INTERNATIONAL steel company ArcelorMittal has bought the Orava metallurgical plant of Slovakia’s OFZ company.

The corporation announced on December 6 that it acquired the ferro-alloy (iron alloy) production of OFZ Istebné to strengthen its supply portfolio in that field. The amount of the deal was undisclosed, the Pravda daily wrote.

OFZ managers said they expect the addition of ArcelorMittal would help develop metallurgical production in the Orava region, the daily reported.

“In the past, there have already been plans to extend the production of ferro-alloys,” OFZ general director Vladimír Klocok told the daily.

AcelorMittal bought the whole OFZ plant in Široká. The steel giant will take over the plant only after the antirust bureaus of the countries where OFZ occupies significant shares of the market – Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Bosnia and Serbia – greenlight the deal.

“Negotiations with ArcelorMittal about the acquisition of the OFZ ferro-alloy production started in May,” Klocok said. “ArcelorMittal also considered acquiring other ferro-alloy producers, but in the end it decided for OFZ as the best solution.”

OFZ is a major employer in the Orava region, employing more than 650 people with an average monthly wage of Sk25,300 (€760). Incorporating the plant into the world’s biggest steel producer should bring stability to the company, as well as the whole region, Klocok said.

Klocok estimates OFZ’s sales at about Sk4.5 billion this year. OFZ has an annual operating capacity of 150,000 tonnes, producing 141,000 tonnes of ferro-alloys in 2006.

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