An auction Tuesday, 31 July, for RG Steel LLC’s Wheeling, W.Va., assets saw the unit divvied up among a number of buyers, including Nucor Corp., Esmark Steel Group LLC and Frontier Industrial Corp., sources confirmed to AMM on Wednesday, 1 August.
Nucor bought all the equipment from Wheeling Corrugating Co. for $7 million, a Nucor spokeswoman told AMM. The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker declined to comment further on the purchase.
Esmark, which had previously announced plans to bid for a portion of the assets, confirmed Wednesday that it had partnered with Seoul-based TCC Steel Co. to purchase the cold rolled facility in Yorkville, Ohio, and RG Steel’s 50% stake in Ohio Coatings Co., a tin mill joint venture with TCC. Prior to RG Steel’s bankruptcy filing, Ohio coatings had received substrate for the tinplate operations from RG Steel’s Sparrows Point, Md., facility.
"We believe Yorkville and Ohio Coatings Co. are very complementary to our existing steel processing and distribution footprint in the Northeast and Midwest, and we intent to continue to operate these facilities along with our partner TCC Steel that will contribute to our growth plans moving forward," Esmark chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard said in a statement.
The company did not confirm the terms of the bid.
According to a United Steelworkers Local 1223 official, the union has had preliminary contract talks with Esmark, noting that as of Wednesday afternoon, "the union is cautiously optimistic on reaching an agreement to continue production." The company committed to hire 230 people, which is the vast majority of the workers at the sites, the union official said.
"We...intend to work with the United Steelworkers of America to bring back as many jobs as possible at Yorkville," Bouchard said in the statement, without specifying workforce numbers.
Meanwhile, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Frontier Industrial that we’ll find a user that’s going to take over the entire facility, but there’s still a lot of valuable assets at that facility as well as a really grate labor pool in the Mingo Junction area."
Local press reported that a Wheeling businessman named Quay Mull, listed in a local business database as manager of Mull Center LLC, bought the Martins Ferry, Ohio, facility for $2 million. Mull did not respond to calls for confirmation.
None of the sales are final until approval by a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, where RG Steel filed for bankruptcy protection 31 May. As of Wednesday afternoon, the sale hearing was set for 8 August.
Auctions for RG Steel’s Sparrows Point and Warren, Ohio, assets were originally scheduled for Tuesday as well but have been postponed until 7 August.