LE CREUSOT: Industeel is looking for financial partners … maybe until...

The Mittal group is looking for an opening of capital and at most a sale of its Industeel sector established in Charleroi in Belgium, in Chateauneuf in the Loire, and in Le Creusot. But the situation and the stakes are different at Le Creusot.

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UPDATED: Confirmation and perspective at 6 months.

This was therefore formalized this Friday. The ArcelorMittal group is looking for financial partners for its subsidiary Industeel, whose two main centers are in Charleroi and Le Creusot. The steel giant will go as far as selling. No doubt you have to be careful and not get carried away. The Mittal family group gives itself six months. And no one knows what the economy will be like six months from now. While in one semester two episodes of the pandemic were faced.
“You have to see that at the end of 2019 we had arrived at the end of a big activity with large orders, including that for Qatar”, remarks Sébastien Gautheron of the CGT who on Friday evening went to tow to inform employees of the financial needs of the principal shareholder. “Logic would have wanted new orders to be registered at the start of the year, but CORONAVIRUS has changed that.”
Remains, Sébastien Gautheron recalls, Industeel Creusot’s obligations as much for Framatome and nuclear power, as for national defense, in particular for submarines and the barracuda program. But not only. It being understood that in the sheet metal works, as elsewhere in the steelworks, we do not always know for whom the grades of steel are, and in particular the shields. Because it is a defense secret. Clearly, it is therefore advisable to remain cautious and wait until the end of spring.

A.B.

Our previous article (20/11):
According to information which first filtered in Belgium and more precisely on the side of the Charleroi site, the Belgian entity of Industeel, ArcelorMittal group, the Mittal group would consider selling all or part of its capital, or open up to financial or industrial partners.
“ArcelorMittal confirms that it has launched a review process for Industeel’s portfolio to determine whether a different shareholding structure, for example partnerships, could strengthen the company”, a spokesperson for the group reportedly communicated to the Belga agency. steel industry in Belgium. The whole of the subsidiary would be for sale, and not just the activities in Charleroi.
The change in capital could therefore also affect French establishments and more particularly the Industeel du Creusot establishment.
We must undoubtedly remain very cautious about the future of the specialist in special sheets at Le Creusot. Because if the year 2020 was not a long calm river, with a drop in activity which led to partial unemployment measures and a significant training component, on the other hand the situation of the Le Creusot establishment is fundamentally different from that of Charleroi.
As Crucot-infos recalled recently with the announcement of the arrival of Emmanuel Macron at Framatome – a visit postponed twice because of the pandemic, but still planned -, it should be remembered that in 2008, a partnership contract was signed between ArcelortMittal and AREVA, which has since taken over the name Framatome.
This agreement provides that the Breuil steelworks will continue to be the Forge’s supplier. Under the impetus of Anne Lauvergeon, Framatome had indeed bought, in 2006, the Forge du Creusot from Yves-Michel Bolloré, “to secure our supplies of forged parts and their production”, she then said. This is also what Anne Lauvergeon, interviewed by Creusot-infos, had underlined during her recent visit to Le Creusot: “This operation was necessary in order to be able to produce EPR tanks Made in France”, she said. affirmed.
According to the information that had been brought to the attention of Creusot-infos, the French State intends to reinforce the activities of Framatome in Le Creusot. Whether for its production for civil nuclear power and not just for EDF, or for parts manufactured on behalf of the Ministry of Defense.
ArcelorMittal, through a contract, is therefore in a partnership with Framatome. A partnership which should obviously continue.
It remains to be seen in what form and with whom? This is obviously an important question for the Creusot site. But it does not seem certain that Mittal is withdrawing from everything. The steelmaker would rather aim to open up Industeel’s capital. In addition to the steelworks activities, it is at the Creusot sheet metal works that the thinnest sheets are produced, in grades with high added value, in what are called niche markets. But markets which have been hit by the crisis for several quarters now.

Alain BOLLERY
(Photo Alain BOLLERY)

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