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ArcelorMittal gets regulatory approval to buy Italian steel company

ArcelorMittal’s offices at Indiana Harbor in East Chicago are pictured. The European Commission cleared the way for the company to acquire Ilva, an integrated Italian steelmaker.

The European Commission cleared the way for ArcelorMittal to acquire Ilva, an integrated Italian steelmaker that's been in business since 1905.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal reached an agreement last summer to buy its European rival for $2.1 billion. It agreed to divest of assets in Italy, Romania, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Belgium in order to address government concerns of a monopoly. 

ArcelorMittal, a global steelmaker that's one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, will obtain Europe's largest integrated steel mill in its second-largest steel market. It plans to invest $2.86 billion on Ilva's blast furnaces, steel shops and finishing lines over the next seven years, and spend $343 million on environmental remediation.

The acquisition will allow ArcelorMittal to boost finished steel shipments by 9.5 million tons and created crude steel production by 8 million tons a year, and give it a presence in Italy. The steelmaker has committed to keeping at least 10,000 steelworkers employed after it takes over and makes capital investment.

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ArcelorMittal Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal said the company had the technology, capital, customer base and management experience to turn Ilva's operations around and make them sustainable.

The deal is expected to close soon now that regulators have signed off, and ArcelorMittal expects it will result in a boost in revenue for its European operations this year.

"Approval by the EC is a significant milestone in the transaction to acquire Ilva and represents a major step towards closing the deal, which is now expected to occur as soon as possible," the company said in a news release Monday.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.