Italian government opens review of Ilva tender won by ArcelorMittal

Wednesday, 25 July 2018 17:44:57 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

The Italian government is opening a formal review of ArcelorMittal's planned takeover of Ilva and might annul the deal if irregularities are found, Italian economic development minister Luigi Di Maio said on July 24.

Steel giant ArcelorMittal agreed last year to buy Ilva, Europe's largest steel plant, which is in state-supervised special administration, and had been due to take charge of the business on July 1.

However, the newly-installed government has asked the Italian National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) to review the tender, which was drawn up by the previous government and led to ArcelorMittal being awarded the deal.

"We have an obligation to verify the facts after important, critical issues have emerged," minister Di Maio said in a statement. "We believe the conditions exist for starting an administrative procedure aimed at the possible cancellation [of the tender]", he added, saying the review would last 30 days.

At the same time, Di Maio said he would meet ArcelorMittal officials on Wednesday, July 25, to discuss their improved proposal for Ilva.

The previous industry minister, Carlo Calenda, has denied suggestions that the 2017 tender was flawed, pointing to reports by the state auditors' office which approved the whole process.

On Tuesday, July 24, ArcelorMittal said in a statement it would accept new conditions set by the Italian authorities for the purchase of Ilva, but did not go into details.

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