Australian Giant Steel Company Eyes Indonesian Largest Steel Maker

By Bernama,

Jakarta : Australian-based steel giant BlueScope Steel is interested in acquiring stake in Indonesian largest steel maker Krakatau Steel Inc., which is set to go on offer under a government privatization program, a senior official quoted by local media as saying Saturday.

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Indonesian Industry Ministry’s Director General for Metal Ansari Bukhari said BlueScope had sent a letter to the ministry inquiring how it could take part in the privatization.

“BlueScope’s CFO Charlie Elias will be here from May 8 to 9 to meet Minister Fahmi Idris to learn more about the plans for Krakatau,” he said, adding that he would also meet the finance and state ministers for state enterprises.

Ansari also said BlueScope was unlike most Indonesian steel firms in that it produced steel for the automotive sector and not just for infrastructure projects.

“They want to offer their capabilities and experience (in automotive steel), and from our side it’s a good thing as we still import around 2 million tons of this special steel,” he was quoted by the China’s XINHUA news agency, as saying in a local daily here.

BlueScope may have to fight off competition from Arcellor Mittal, the world’s largest steel maker, which has stated its intention to acquire a 40 percent stake in Krakatau.

The government said it would study Mittal’s proposal to confirm that any steps taken by the steel giant would not hamper Krakatau’ s production capabilities.

The Indonesian government is still mulling over whether to privatize the company through an initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market, or by conducting a strategic sale, where stake would be sold in blocks to selected potential investors.

BlueScope Steel operates 114 steel factories in 17 countries, including four of its largest in New Zealand, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America, each with a production capacity of eight million tons per year.

Krakatau Steel has a maximum capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per year.