Weirton Steel Agrees to Purchase by International Steel
Group for $255 Million Plus Liabilities
Weirton terminates existing retirees’ coverage
Weirton, WV— Weirton Steel Corp.
has agreed to sell substantially all of its assets to Cleveland-based
International Steel Group Inc. (ISG) for approximately $255 million consisting
of cash and the assumption of liabilities.
The transaction is subject to bankruptcy
court approval and other conditions. The sale is expected to be completed
in the second quarter of this year.
"We will continue normal operations
throughout this process. The sale is good news for Weirton Steel, our
customers and the local communities," said D. Leonard Wise, Weirton
Steel chief executive officer.
"Our goal has been to secure the
best possible solution for all of our stakeholders and to maintain a steel
operation in Weirton. We believe ISG provides the answer. Under ISG, Weirton
Steel should be able to complete more effectively in the world market.
Given Weirton Steel's bankruptcy, we are fortunate to have the opportunity
to join ISG."
Wise said that while the pending sale
is positive news for the Upper Ohio Valley, it occurs at the same time
as an unfortunate event for Weirton Steels' retirees.
"Weirton Steel recognizes the significant
contribution our retirees have made throughout their years of dedicated
service. Obviously, we are saddened to report that we will no longer be
able to pay for retiree health care and life insurance programs. This
decision was extremely difficult, but unavoidable. We sincerely regret
the series of circumstances that led to this situation," Wise noted.
"We understand our retirees' expectations.
Those expectations were created at a time when health care costs were
dramatically lower and our company's financial foundation was much stronger.
Unfortunately, those conditions no longer exist. But unlike many other
companies that terminated retiree insurance programs upon declaring bankruptcy,
at least we were able to provide these programs during the nine months
we have been in bankruptcy."