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Severstal, Russia's largest steel producer, is to purchase a steel
Severstal, Russia's largest steel producer, is to purchase a steel mill in the U.S. for $810 million, the company announced on Friday.

"The purchase of the Sparrows Point [steel mill] adds to our portfolio of American assets. The plant already has significant value and possesses the potential for growth," the company said in a press-release by its CEO, Alexei Mordashev.

Sparrows Point is located in Baltimore County, Maryland, and is owned by ArcelorMittal, a joint venture between Indian Mittal and Luxemburg Arcelor.

The U.S. Department of Justice demanded in February 2007 that ArcelorMittal sell Sparrows Point in a bid to prevent a monopolization of the market after the merger of Mittal Steel and Luxemburg Arcelor.

Sparrows Point produces 3.6m tons of steel per year. It is the only integrated producer of rolled metal on the east Coast of the U.S., and is also one of the leading American suppliers of tin.

"The deal will create additional sales opportunities for the company and expand the geographical scope of the delivery of "Severstal" products, creating the opportunity for direct ocean transportation...and provide proximity to a large number of U.S. railroads and highways," the press release said.

Severstal is represented on both the Russian and the London stock exchanges. In 2007, it produced 17.5 million tons of steel and reported $15.2bn in revenues.

ArcelorMittal was created in 2006 as a result of a merger between Indian Mittal Steel and Luxembourg Arcelor. It is now the world's largest steel producing company and controls 10% of global steel output. Indian billionaire industrialist Lakshmi Mittal is the president of Arcelor Mittal and holds a controlling interest in the company.


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