ArcelorMittal tells Ilva it wants to change buying contract

The steelmaker ArcelorMittal told the commissioners of the Italian factory of Ilva that he wished that changes be made to the contract in which he agreed to buy the company so to protect it from court challenges in Italy.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, entered into a $ 1.8 billion ($ 2.1 billion) deal for the purchase of Ilva in June, but purchases been suspended due to court challenges and an EU anti-trust investigation.

In the latest version, the commissioners in charge of Ilva wrote to the Italian Ministry of Industry saying that ArcelorMittal had told them they would now like the purchase agreement to be amended to protect him in case of legal challenge.

ArcelorMittal requested "amendments and additions" to suspend or dissolve the agreement if a court in southern Italy upheld the disputes, according to the commissioners' letter dated December 21, that Reuters at sight.

"We evaluate, with our consultants, if these requests are compatible with the rules in force," says the letter, adding that in any case the commissioners will take no action without first informing the government.

ArcelorMittal declined to comment to Reuters.

The EU's antitrust authorities, in November, improved their own investigation into the company's proposed buyout of Ilva, fearing that this would lead to higher prices for the company. 39; steel. European steel prices have increased by 85% since 1 January 2016.

A few weeks after the filing of the antitrust complaint, the local authorities of Apulia and Taranto appealed against the approval by the Italian Government of Arva's environmental plan on behalf of Ilva . They said the plan was not doing enough to protect the environment and public health.

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni wrote Friday to the governor of Puglia and the mayor of Taranto, urging them to abandon the lawsuit.

Similar calls had already been launched by the Minister of Industry Carlo Calendar, warning that the challenges could frustrate the agreement with ArcelorMittal. The governor of Puglia Michele Emilio has so far refused to move.

Ilva, located in the city of Taranto, in the south of Italy's heel, is the largest steel mill in Europe. He has been charged with corruption and environmental crimes for years.

In 2012, the Italian authorities stated that the plant's emissions had caused deaths, tumors and respiratory diseases. About half of the annual capacity of 11 million tons of the plant has been decommissioned.

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