ArcelorMittal agrees on concessions to seal delayed $897 million JV with SAIL

Last Updated: Wed, May 24, 2017 18:07 hrs
FILE PHOTO: A red-hot steel plate passes through a press at the ArcelorMittal steel plant in Ghent

New Delhi: ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, said on Wednesday it has agreed to make concessions to Steel Authority of India on technology transfer to seal a delayed $897 million automotive joint venture.

The two companies are close to ironing out key commercial terms to close the deal, including non-compete and exit clauses as well as finalising policy on arbitration, three sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters.

"In the interest of the strategic partnership, some concession from ArcelorMittal on technology has been extended," a company spokeswoman told Reuters, without giving further details.

India's Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh said on Monday the talks between ArcelorMittal and SAIL were in the "final stages", after a preliminary understanding signed in May 2015 lapsed on Sunday. Government officials said the timeline for the venture would get an official extension.

Talks between the two companies had hit a roadblock over disagreement on revenue-sharing as well on technology transfer fees.

The deal would help SAIL, which has been in the red for at least seven straight quarters, compete with local private rivals such as JSW Steel and Tata Steel who have foreign partnerships to make auto-grade steel.

The proposed joint venture is also crucial for ArcelorMittal as India is the only big steel market where demand is rising fast and government policy is increasingly favouring locally made products.

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