Kosice/Bratislava, December 5 (TASR) – The Economy Ministry stated on Monday that it is watching closely the situation at U.S. Steel Kosice amid media reports that some major investors have presented bids to the American company for its steelworks in eastern Slovakia.
Nonetheless, the Economy Ministry itself doesn’t have any information on any planned sale of U.S. Steel Kosice, ministry spokesman Maros Stano told TASR.
The steel mills are in the hands of a private company, but considering the fact that it’s one of the biggest employers in the country and an important part of the national economy, the Economy Ministry is watching the situation closely, said Stano.
“Nevertheless, a memorandum from 2013 that has kept the American owner in Slovakia and stabilised the situation at the company still holds and is being observed. The Economy Ministry is communicating with the company’s management, and it doesn’t have any information concerning a sale. Similar reports in the past weren’t confirmed in the end,” said Stano.
In the 2013 memorandum the American company promised to continue running the steelworks in Kosice until at least 2018 and that it wouldn’t resort to any mass lay-offs in the meantime.
Business news website biztweet.eu, Czech business weekly EURO and Slovak daily newspapers SME and Hospodarske Noviny on Monday reported that U.S. Steel has received purchase bids from a Chinese company and Czech steel mills Trinecke Zelezarny, which belongs to Czech-Slovak group Moravia Steel. According to HN, the bids were presented in Pittsburgh last Friday. However, the Czech company’s offer was rejected later in the day, sources told the daily. The Chinese bid was probably presented by steel giant Hesteel Group.
Meanwhile, U.S. Steel hasn’t provided any comments on the situation. “I still refrain from commenting on rumours,” said U.S. Steel Kosice spokesman Jan Baca.