United States Steel Corp. announced a joint-venture partnership agreement under which it has taken the first step toward acquiring Big River Steel through the purchase of a 49.9% ownership interest for approximately $700 million in cash, with a call option to acquire the remaining 50.1% within the next four years. U.S. Steel has committed financing to execute the transaction. Big River Steel operates an LEED-certified, Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas that is, according to the company, the most advanced EAF-based flat-rolled mill in North America. Big River Steel produces advanced automotive steels and electrical steels and provides services to customers in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural industries. The company’s recently announced Phase II-A expansion is expected to double the mill’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually.
“We have been investing in leading technology and advanced manufacturing so that we can assemble a portfolio of competitive assets with distinct advantages to serve strategic markets to better position U.S. Steel to be an industry leader in delivering high-quality, value-added products,” said David B. Burritt, president and CEO of U.S. Steel. “The investment in Big River, coupled with our announced investments at Mon Valley Works and Gary Works, would ultimately position U. S. Steel with three core market-leading, differentiated and technologically advanced assets that will enable us to compete with anyone, anywhere, for generations to come.”
This transaction provides numerous strategic and financial benefits to U. S. Steel, some of which will begin to be implemented immediately upon the closing of this transaction, while others would become fully realized upon full ownership of Big River.
- Strengthens U.S. Steel’s competitive positioning and establishes an unparalleled product platform in strategic, high-margin end markets, including energy, infrastructure and automotive.
- Reshapes U.S. Steel’s footprint in the flat-rolled segment to create a more nimble, agile and customer-focused organization with new presence to serve growing U.S. and Mexico markets.
- Complements U.S. Steel’s existing capabilities, as well as its previously announced strategic investments in advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) in Ohio, electrical steel in Slovakia, the electric-arc furnace in Alabama, and endless casting and rolling technology in Pennsylvania.