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Nucor buys part of former RG Steel cold mill

Keywords: Tags  RG Steel, Sparrows Point, Hilco, Hilco Trading, Environmental Liability Transfer, Maryland, United Steelworkers, USW bankruptcy


NEW YORK — Nucor Corp. has purchased parts of the former RG Steel LLC cold mill complex in Sparrows Point, Md., and intends to use the equipment for upgrades and replacement parts at its existing cold mills, a company executive told AMM.

"We acquired pieces of equipment to enhance existing operations at our four cold mills," Nucor president and chief operating officer John Ferriola said.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker had purchased parts of the facility—including the pickler, tandem mill and parts of the annealing furnaces—to be used as spare equipment, but didn’t purchase the land or the complex itself, Ferriola told AMM late Wednesday.

Various market sources have said the cold mill was one of the most attractive assets at the Sparrows Point complex, which also includes a blast furnace and a tin mill, among other assets.

Over the past 15 years, former Sparrows Point owners have spent a combined $1.064 billion in capital improvement projects, Hilco said in its marketing materials for the entire complex, including a $350-million investment in a new cold mill.

Nucor bought the select cold mill equipment for an undisclosed sum from previous owner Hilco SP LLC, an affiliate of Hilco Industrial LLC’s trading unit. Hilco Trading LLC and Environmental Liability Transfer Inc. together purchased the entire Sparrows Point complex and land at a bankruptcy auction for $72.5 million ( amm.com, Aug. 16).

The previous month, Nucor bought all the equipment from Wheeling Corrugating Co. for $7 million during an auction for RG Steel’s Wheeling, W.Va., assets ( amm.com, Aug. 1).

The partial Sparrows Point purchase by Nucor comes just weeks before the entire integrated facility was scheduled to go to auction, either as a single steelmaking complex or in piecemeal. In September, auctioneer Hilco set a bid deadline of Dec. 21 and an auction date of Jan. 3 ( amm.com, Sept. 26).

However, that auction has since been canceled, Hilco said on its website Tuesday. Instead, Hilco said it plans to sell the remaining Sparrows Point production assets through a private treaty, or negotiated, sale process.

Hilco confirmed the auction had been canceled but declined to comment further or confirm the Nucor acquisition.

An auction for "nonproduction components," including construction and transportation equipment, will be held separately on Jan. 23 and 24, the company said.


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