Welcome to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council


SteelGuru, India, Friday, 01 May 2009

Metinvest announces that it has acquired United Coal Company, LLC an American producer of metallurgical and steam coal headquartered in Teays Valley, West Virginia. The acquisition has received all necessary approvals in the United States and Europe.

The released said the key rationale for the acquisition of UCC was its significant reserves of high quality metallurgical coal, which will help Metinvest’s coke and chemical facilities produce a better quality feedstock. As a consequence, the Group’s steel works will be provided with a higher quality coke, reducing iron production costs and improving quality characteristics. The Group will thereafter be more competitive in current and prospective sales markets.

Mr Igor Syry CEO of Metinvest Holding LLC said “We are extremely pleased with the agreement reached to acquire United Coal Company, and that we will be able to partner with the management team they have assembled. Metinvest is constantly looking for opportunities to improve our effectiveness and enhance the quality of our products. A higher quality of coke is especially critical in today’s environment, when Metinvest is reducing consumption of natural gas as a result of the increase in gas prices.

"Furthermore, we intend to maintain the existing business model of UCC, working closely with its excellent management team and employees. One of the things that attracted us to UCC was that they had managed to grow production quickly since 2005, and that they had several opportunities for additional expansion in the near term that matched our needs. Metinvest will continue to invest in the company in order to increase production.”

Mr Syry said “We are trying to apply a consistent approach to our strategy, to form an efficient and balanced metallurgical company, which will be a major player in the European and world markets. Having assets in the United States, the world’s most stable supplier, and having access to the world class mining methods employed by UCC with its tremendous record of and dedication to safety is a transformational step for Metinvest. This transaction positions us well for the rebound of world markets.”

Mr Michael Zervos CEO & President of UCC said “We at United Coal Company are very excited about the transaction. That Metinvest trusts our management team to continue to run the Company in the manner we have built it means everything to us. We have dedicated ourselves to building a world class producer of metallurgical coal, while keeping an unwavering focus on our core principles of employee safety and respect for the environment.

"That foundation of our Company will not change. As we built the Company, however, we saw that in order to maximize our growth opportunities, we would have to partner with an integrated steel producer so that our coals would have a sales outlet even in challenging market conditions. We believe that this transaction is a great outcome for all stakeholders in UCC, and we look forward to helping Metinvest achieve its goal of becoming the most efficient global steel producer.”

As both parties are privately held, further details concerning the transaction are unavailable.

The companies of Metinvest Group have capacity to produce 10.8 million tonnes per year of crude steel, more than 11 million tonnes per year of rolled stock and semi finished steel, over 5 million tonnes per year of metallurgical coke and over 40 million tonnes per year of iron ore enough to meet the Group’s internal demand in steelmaking raw materials and to be a key supplier to major steelmaking companies in Europe.

The Group comprises 23 industrial companies in mining and steel, many of which are located in Metinvest home country of Ukraine. In Western Europe Metinvest has recently acquired Ferriera Valsider and Trametal Italian re-rolling companies and British carbon steel plate producer Spartan UK.

LINK: http://steelguru.com/news/index/2009/05/01/OTI2NzA%3D/Metinve