The epilogue comes at the end of a hectic day: the consensual divorce with ArcelorMittal fails
The consensual divorce between the government and ArcelorMittal is skipped for a less traumatic solution on the future of the former Ilva group: the executive led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is now preparing for the extraordinary administration.
In fact, in the evening, the government approved an ad hoc law decree with which to strengthen some measures to protect the production and employment continuity of companies in crisis under extraordinary administration which, at the moment, would pave the way for a decision judged by the government, as far as we learn, now ‘inevitable’. The margins for recomposing the breakdown in the confrontation seem almost non-existent. An epilogue, this, which comes at the end of a hectic day which saw a very harsh exchange of accusations between the members of Acciaierie d’Italia with no holds barred
The signals before the summit
The signs of a smoke had already arrived before the meeting at Palazzo Chigi, chaired by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, to take stock of the negotiations. Arcelor Mittal sources, in fact, shortly before, had denounced the impasse in the confrontation with the government. “ArcelorMittal continues to look for a constructive solution, but in the negotiations Invitalia remains on its own positions with respect to the proposals put forward by Mittal”, was the accusation filtered by sources close to the French-Indian multinational who had reiterated that the objective to which the Franco-Indian group remained “that of finding a negotiated solution as an alternative to extraordinary administration, which is harmful both for the business of Acciaierie d’Italia and for all its stakeholders”.
But there were many obstacles that Mittal denounced on the way to the agreement. Meanwhile, the “unacceptable” request for Mittal to continue financing Acciaierie d’Italia as a minority shareholder, a hypothesis that is viable for them, without however participating in the management of the group. “Invitalia is proposing a dilution of ArcelorMittal to 34%, through a capital increase of 320 million euros and the conversion into capital of the shareholder loan of 750 million euros. Consequently, AM would lose joint control and become a minority investor, with only basic protection rights. These two proposals are in principle acceptable to A.Mittal”, the same sources explained, however, indicating the crux of the issue. “Invitalia requests that A.Mittal, as a minority shareholder without any participation in the management, continues to finance Adi in the future. This request is not acceptable”, commented the same sources, revealing how “for the participation in the financial resources for the purchase of the plants, A.Mittal offered a contribution of 200 million euros”.
And then, the fact that Invitalia, sources close to Mittal still reported, was not willing to acquire the residual share of ArcelorMittal. “Since the Government has expressed its desire for ArcelorMittal to exit Adi AM, it has also put forward the proposal to sell its remaining shares directly to Invitalia or to another investor approved by the Government. However, Invitalia is not willing to acquire the share of A .Mittal,” they explained.
Invitalia: “ArcelorMittal has always refused to participate in the support of the Industrial Plan”
The response from the public shareholder came from sources close to the dossier: “Invitalia, operating on government mandate, has always been willing to support the company and to explore and pursue any solution compatible with current legislation, both national and community. ArcelorMittal has always refused to participate in the support of the Industrial Plan approved in Assembly even with its favorable vote”, was the counter accusation.
The government is therefore preparing for the extraordinary administration and the arrival of the commissioners: it strengthens the tools available in view of the deadline scheduled for tomorrow with A.Mittal, to protect production and workers.
And it foresees, as they explain from Palazzo Chigi, guarantees of extraordinary redundancy fund: “The workers involved in the safety and maintenance of the plants are therefore excluded from the CIGS, to allow them to remain operational” and the related industries who feared extraordinary administration are also reassured. “The provisions, already included in the legal system, to protect small and medium-sized creditor companies remain unchanged”. Thursday, January 18th, will be the turn of the round with the unions with which, as Palazzo Chigi explains, “to continue the discussion started some time ago on the future of steel in Italy”. (by Alessandra Testio)