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The U.S. Department of Justice has approved a $810 million
The U.S. Department of Justice has approved a $810 million deal allowing Russia's largest steel producer Severstal to purchase a U.S. steel mill from ArcelorMittal, local media reported on Wednesday.

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

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

"The purchase of Sparrows Point adds to our portfolio of American assets. The plant already has significant value and possesses the potential for growth," Severstal CEO Alexei Mordashev earlier said.

Sparrows Point produces 3.6 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the only integrated producer of rolled metal on the U.S. East Coast, and 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 an opportunity for direct ocean transportation... and providing proximity to a large number of U.S. railroads and highways," Severstal earlier 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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