JSW Steel set to acquire Italy’s second-largest steelmaker Aferpi


New Delhi, Feb 28: Three years after losing the race to acquire Italy’s second-largest steelmaker, JSW Steel is set to make a comeback. The Sajjan Jindal-company is expected to sign a deal with Cevital – to whom it had lost out in 2014 – to buy Aferpi.
Cevital, the largest privately-held group in Algeria, had bought Lucchini in 2014 and renamed in Aferpi. Lucchini was then owned by Russia’s Severstal and was declared insolvent in 2012.
JSW Steel is likely to sign the agreement on Thursday for the deal, which is estimated to be about Rs 500 crore. Some of its top officials are present in Italy.
Aferpi has a capacity to produce 2.5 million tons of steel every year. It used to have an employee-strength of 2,000. Its operations include a blast furnace, a steel mill, a coke oven and a ports.
The deal will also make up for another lost opportunity for JSW Steel in Italy, last year. The company had lost to LN Mittal’s ArcelorMittal in the race to acquire Ilva, which owned Europe’s largest steel facility.
Good news
The Aferpi buy will cheer up officials at JSW Steel. The company had suffered a couple of setbacks on its push for growth in India, after its bids for Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Power & Steel ended up second highest to Tata Steel’s.
Presence in Italy will give JSW Steel access to high margin products. At present Aferpi manufactures products used in sectors such as railways, energy, automotive and engineering.