ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel win ‘Deal of the Year’ for acquisition of Essar Steel

ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel's joint venture, AM/NS India​, won​ the Deal of the Year Award from the S&P Platts 2020 Global Metals Awards for completing the $5.7 billion acquisition of Essar Steel India Limited last year, a fully integrated steel producer in India that entered insolvency in 2017.

The Deal of the Year award recognises the challenges, financial results, leadership, scope and strategic vision of asset buyouts, joint ventures, strategic company alliances or full company mergers or acquisitions, as well as strategic spin-offs that strengthened organisations. The awards program, hosted by S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets, saw 96 finalists from 23 countries vie for recognition in 15 categories.

AM/NS India's acquisition of Essar Steel India stood out for the Deal of the Year award as it was the largest private-sector transaction to close in India during 2019, and the second-largest steel transaction globally that year.

ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel faced intense competition from other interested parties in Essar, as well as a multiplicity of legal challenges in India, even at the Supreme Court.

Confident of the strong strategic rationale for the transaction and the potential for the partners to turn around Essar Steel, AM/NS India remained committed and resolute throughout the 865-day long process, emerging as the winner of an auction with all legal obstacles resolved.

The acquisition provides both ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel a sizeable entry into the high-growth Indian steel market, where steel consumption is expected to grow on average around 6% annually over the next 10-15 years. Neither joint venture partner had any production capability in India before the acquisition.

The acquisition target includes an integrated steel facility in India's fast growing western market, upstream facilities including pellet plants with a capacity of 14 million mt/year in the resource rich eastern states, and further downstream facilities and service centers across the country. The main steel plant acquired has a crude steel capacity of 9.6 million mt/year. Main steel products include hot-rolled, cold-rolled, galvanized, coated steel sheets, steel plates and steel pipes. The deal primarily includes assets located in India but also facilities in Indonesia, the Middle East and the Americas.