ISG Cleveland Works
News from 2004
U.S. shipments rise 6.3% through October. Ohio production is 4-year high
AKRON -- "[Ohio] steel production was 11 million tons, the most since 2000's 13.6 million tons, the [Ohio Steel Council] said. That put production up 14.9 percent compared with the corresponding period in 2003. . . The Ohio Steel Council also reported that spending on capital investments in the first nine months of 2004 was at a five-year high of $176.5 million, a 79 percent increase over a year earlier. . . [Chuck Glazer, manager of public relations for Richfield-based International Steel Group Inc.] said, 'An upturn in the manufacturing sector, as well as consolidation in the steel industry and flexible, productive union agreements, has allowed us to invest in additional efficiencies for our plants.' Steel jobs in Ohio declined 5.6 percent to 15,274 in the first nine months of 2004, but payroll was up 1.3 percent to $680 million," Akron Beacon Journal.
COLUMBUS -- Ohio steel shipping and production reach four-year high for first nine months of 200; Capital improvements up 79 percent, release, Ohio Steel Council.
ISG remains a marvel
CLEVELAND -- ". . . from the ruins of LTV has risen a company that is a huge community asset," editorial, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
| Dec 19: Has the most counties failing health standards|
Ohio leads nation in soot
Federal review: Ohio ranks with worst for bad air|
Lucas, Wood, Monroe failing soot standards
TOLEDO -- "Tiny as they sound, the microscopic soot particles are among the most dangerous forms of air pollution because they can be inhaled deep into the lungs and cause a lifetime of respiratory distress -- even death, the EPA said. . . Soot isn't like mercury, which can cause brain disorders and neurological defects in developing fetuses and young children. But U.S. EPA officials have said that soot has a more immediate and direct impact on lungs," Tom Henry, Toledo Blade.
AKRON -- Ohio cities deep in soot; U.S. EPA rules 32 counties fail to meet limits for pollution from smokestacks and tailpipes, Bob Downing, Akron Beacon Journal.
WASHINGTON, DC -- 20 states exceed new soot limits; 32 Ohio counties flunk air standard, John Heilprin, Associated Press.
Indiana urging ISG to relocate|
Richfield-based steel maker considering merger to make world's largest steel firm
AKRON -- "Because the merger is far from being completed, it's 'way too premature to contemplate or even discuss details' of where Mittal's North American headquarters will be, [ISG spokesman Charles Glazer] said," Gloria Irwin, Akron Beacon Journal.
Steel 'comeback' won't help Greater Cleveland|
SHAKER HEIGHTS -- "Mike Seuffert's "Open Mike" column (Sun Newspapers, Nov. 18, "ISG's rebirth of old LTV is great comeback story") made me furious. When LTV shut down, Cleveland was free of the last ball and chain keeping us from reality -- steel is dead. This is 2004, not the 1920s. A steel mill is not going to define our city or save our economy. We have two world-class hospital systems, a growing biopharmaceutical think thank, more theaters than any other American city except New York, and internationally renowned orchestra and highly regarded universities. With 2.85 million people in Cleveland, including suburbs and the Akron-Canton metropolitan area, the 1,200 jobs reinstated at the ISG steel mill come at a huge price. ISG is the single largest polluter in Cuyahoga County. The steel mill was opened within 60 days of purchase with no signifiant physical plant upgrades. In 2003, ISG released 76,960,120 pounds of toxins into the air of Northeast Ohio, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and lead. And that was only in one year. Good thing we have such skilled doctors to treat our cancers and our newborn baby's developmental problems," Emily Koch, letter to the editor, West Side Sun.
Northwest Indiana seeks steel giant’s headquarters|
Hungry Mittal in new buyout binge|
Group scours Poland, Czech Republic and Turkey for potential takeover targets
Relationship working for ISG, Steelworkers|
Bankruptcy saga gives way to unity, success
CLEVELAND -- "'Not only do I think it's a model for other steel companies, but I think it's a model on how to do business with employees period. Respect them, inform them, empower them, and I think you'll absolutely have a better employee,' said Mark Granakis, president of USWA Local 979, which represents ISG's 1,500 Cleveland-area employees. Before LTV went bust, there were 5,000 active grievances against the company by workers saying the company had violated the contract with the union. Today, there are six against ISG. 'That says a ton,' Granakis said. 'Most of that is based on, number one, solving problems down at the plant level, and the truth of the matter is, not violating the labor agreement,'" Connie Mabin, Associated Press.
New survey shows respiratory problems widespread among ISG neighbors in Slavic Village|
SLAVIC VILLAGE, CLEVELAND -- "An informal neighborhood survey of Slavic Village, next to the mammoth ISG complex in Cleveland, shows widespread respiratory problems. On Saturday, November 13, 26 Ohio Citizen Action volunteers surveyed neighbors near Independence Road and near the western end of Fleet Avenue. When asked about pollution problems, 203 neighbors reported 310 different complaints. 138 of these were respiratory problems, with 84 specifying asthma. Another 99 complaints mentioned smells, and 73 complaints were about soot, smoke, or dust," Meg Alley, Ohio Citizen Action.
A collection of letters and drawings by young neighbors of ISG Steel|
ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Heavy Mittal, Rich Smith, Motley Fool.
Talking to Slavic Village neighbors of ISG Cleveland|
SLAVIC VILLAGE, CLEVELAND -- "On a beautiful fall Saturday, dozens of volunteers talked to neighbors door-to-door about what it's like to live next to the mammoth ISG Cleveland steel complex. Most of this community is just to the east of I-77; the complex is just to the west," photos by Paul Ryder, Ohio Citizen Action.
FORT WAYNE, IN -- Steel deal presses competitors; Proposed sale of ISG likely to reverberate among area mini-mills, Urvaksh Karkaria, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
Same game, new player|
Ispat Inland local ready to negotiate
EAST CHICAGO, IN -- "The pending merger of the mill's parent, Ispat International N.V., with LNM Holding N.V. into Mittal Steel and its subsequent purchase of International Steel Group Inc., has put an unexpected wrinkle into the months of negotiations on the labor agreement which expired July 31. . .The merged company's U.S. operations will be under the ISG umbrella, headed by CEO Rodney Mott. Following ISG's labor agreement means secure retirement and health care benefits, but it also means reducing the number of job classifications to five from about 35, [Tom Hargrove, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 1010] said. 'It's not unexpected,' he said. 'We're were going that way anyway. It's the pattern. We have the basis and we'll just have to negotiate items we need to change or add to the ISG agreement like Beth (former Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s local) did. The wages are established. . . They'll be higher for most people. Overall, they'll get a raise. It serves to shore up our pension plan and the $400 (per month) kicker for members retiring before age 62,'" Andrea Holecek, Northwest Indiana Times.
U.S. EPA cites ISG Cleveland for Clean-Air violations|
CHICAGO, IL -- "The U.S. EPA alleges that ISG violated state requirements that visible smoke emissions not exceed 20 percent opacity the amount of light obscured by the smoke. The U.S. EPA said the smoke came from two basic oxygen furnaces on the west side of the plant. . . .These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, the U.S. EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. ISG has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with the U.S. EPA to discuss resolving the allegations. Inhaling high concentrations of smoke particles can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most," release, William Omohundro, U.S. EPA Region 5.
| Oct 29: A New Goliath In Big Steel |
Mittal's deal creates a global powerhouse -- and may give buyers less clout on price
RICHFIELD -- "Lakshmi N. Mittal, the Indian-born steel tycoon, has built a $6.4 billion personal fortune on the scraps and remnants of aging steel companies from Algeria to Poland to Mexico. Shopping around the world whenever steel mills come on the market, Mittal has built a powerhouse that stretches from Europe to Africa and Latin America. He has been able to generate profits by using his scale to buy lower-cost raw materials and by importing modern management techniques into previously inefficient state-run mills. Now, though, the bar is much higher. ISG's operations have already had huge costs wrung out by Ross. To buy them, Mittal paid $42 a share, a 42% premium. But Mittal argues this money is well spent because the consolidation will deliver better economies of scale. Thanks to its size, the combined company will have access to larger, lower-cost supplies of ore, coke, and coal. "We already run the lowest-cost, highest profit mills in the U.S.," says Mittal. 'ISG isn't there yet, but we can get them there,'"Adam Aston, BusinessWeek.
Vultures or heroes? You decide.|
WASHINGTON, DC -- "According to TheDeal.com, the sale of ISG for cash and stock worth $4.5 billion will net [Wilbur] Ross a twelvefold gain on the original $100 million investment from his private equity fund. Other early-stage equity investors will enjoy a sevenfold gain on their initial $343 million stake. And those who bought shares for $28 at last year's IPO can satisfy themselves with a 50 percent return in less than a year. This financial alchemy is not all that hard to understand. It's amazing how much you can improve the bottom line of a company when you simply wipe mountains of debt off the books and stop paying for pensions and retiree health care. In the case of ISG, about $2 billion of pension liabilities were foisted off on the government's insurance fund," Steven Pearlstein, column, Washington Post.
| Oct 27: ISG's sale is likely to benefit workers
Consolidation: The firm's sale to a Dutch steelmaker will create one of the world's biggest steel and mining conglomerates and may mean more work for employees
CLEVELAND -- ISG set to be a major player; Company already planned to make more steel for autos, Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND -- ISG goes global; A remarkable local success story will soon become part of what looks like an even bigger, better idea, editorial, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
AKRON -- Bigger steel; A Dutch firm and ISG will create the largest steel maker in the world. Dare we say it: Globalization can be very good for Ohio, editorial, Akron Beacon Journal.
| Oct 26: From dark mills to world's largest maker of steel
CLEVELAND -- "Even rapid-fire turnaround artist Wilbur Ross wasn't expecting things to move this fast. It was just 2½ years ago that W.L. Ross & Co. bought LTV Steel's darkened mills and reopened them as International Steel Group Inc. Just 11 months ago, ISG went public, after Ross had also salvaged Bethlehem Steel out of bankruptcy. Then Ross prepared to embark on a five- year plan to buy overseas steel plants and back up the "international" in ISG's name. But Indian-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal walked into Ross' Manhattan office Aug. 24 with another idea: creating the world's largest steel maker. "It was roughly two months from first meeting to announcement," Ross said in a telephone interview Monday. "In the first meeting, we just sort of got to know each other. We talked about his vision of the steel industry, my vision of the steel industry. We were totally simpatico on all scores. We were both very strong believers, first, in globalization. Second, in the need to have very, very efficient, very technology-advanced operations that are respectful of the worker and the environment," Alison Grant, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND -- Looking back on nearly 100 years of making steel in Cleveland, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND -- Union applauds plan to merge with Europeans, Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CHICAGO, IL -- No. 1 U.S. steelmaker sold off for $4.5 billion, James P Miller, Chicago Tribune.
LONDON, ENGLAND -- Mittal's $4.5 Billion U.S. Purchase May Trigger Steel Mergers, Stephen Farr, Bloomberg.
LONDON, ENGLAND -- Mergers show steel industry is still worthy of big deals, Heather Timmons, New York Times.
| Oct 25:
World's top steelmaker to be formed|
Three-way merger values ISG at around $4.5 billion
RICHFIELD -- International Steel Group Reports Strong Third-Quarter and Nine Months Results. "Third-quarter net income rises to $ 256.4 million or $2.51 per diluted share; Net income improves 172% over second quarter 2004 as average sales per ton shipped continues to improve on strong market conditions; ISG separately announces merger agreement with Ispat International N.V. to form world's largest steel company, Mittal Steel," release, ISG Steel.
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS -- Mittal family forms steel giant in $17.8 billion deal, Melanie Cheary, Karl Emerick Hanuska, Reuters.
PITTSBURGH, PA -- Steelworkers support ISG-Ispat merger. "District 7 Director Jim Robinson, chairman of USWA's bargaining committee with Ispat-Inland Steel, said, 'This merger provides for an expansion of the ISG agreement to include the Ispat-Inland membership. We believe this merger secures the future of our Inland-Inland's steelworkers and retirees and we look forward further negotiations in a healthy steelmaking climate,'" release, United Steelworkers of America.
WEIRTON, WV -- Positive local reaction to ISG acquisition. "I've spent a good part of the morning at the Independent Steelworkers Union (ISU) Hall in Weirton, where the phones have been ringing non-stop. People have been coming in and out trying to find out what's going on. . . Bill Mckenzie, VP and GM of the former ISG Weirton, and Mark Glyptis, President of the ISU, say it's too soon to tell what this merger means for the local job market. They do say, however, this news is very good news and it gives them high hopes for the future of the steel industry here in the Valley," Julie Grant, WTOV TV-9 News.
NEW YORK, NY -- Investor Wilbur Ross: smart or lucky?, Dane Hamilton, Reuters.
This is what young ISG neighbors are saying|
| Oct 19: ISG chief turns from steel to coal
Bankruptcy king' Wilbur Ross, who bought LTV, puts money into mines
NEW YORK, NY -- "Wilbur Ross always has favored bargain-basement deals. But the financier's newest acquisition literally operates underground. After assembling the nation's biggest steel company from the ruins of bankrupt and near-bankrupt U.S. steel makers, Ross shifted gears and bought up some troubled U.S. textile makers. And now, he's buying distressed assets in yet another smoke-stained industrial commodity: coal. A one-time bankruptcy expert, Ross sifts through the wreckage of bankrupt companies that participate in unpopular sectors, and when he finds assets he likes ``he buys them cheap,'' Chapman said. Over the past few years, Ross' steel investments have had such a dramatic impact that many observers no longer perceive him as just another vulture investor but instead see a pioneering figure who helped revive and rationalize a failing industry. Through a bankruptcy court auction, he bought billions of dollars' worth of LTV assets for pennies on the dollar. Later, he similarly bought up assets of other bankrupt or floundering companies, including Acme Steel, Bethlehem Steel and Weirton Steel," James P. Miller, Chicago Tribune.
This is what ISG neighbors should not have to put up with:|
Photos of life on Independence Road, Cleveland
Steel heritage museum could rise in industrial valley|
Panel to study ideas for building, preservation
| Oct 12: Suddenly
steel has industrial strength
Prices are up, as world demand forges ahead. And this time, the boom could last
NEW YORK -- "Two years after an unprecedented contraction, Big Steel is back. And it's hotter than a freshly poured ingot. Demand is up in the U.S. and worldwide, lifting steelmakers from a deep and painful downturn. Prices for some types of steel have tripled in the past 12 months and -- for the first time in years -- the industry is attracting Wall Street's attention for all the right reasons. American steelmakers owe much to China for this turn of fate. Prior to 2000, a worldwide steel surplus kept prices down in the U.S. Since then, the global economy has perked up and China's appetite for steel has skyrocketed. Demand is forecast to surge by 17% this year, to 280 million metric tons. No wonder stocks of Nucor and U.S. Steel Corp. (X ), among others, are near all-time highs. The runup has also enriched financier Wilbur Ross Jr., who created International Steel Group Inc. (ISG ) by buying up bankrupt steel assets. ISG shares are up 25% since their debut last December," Business Week.
EAST CHICAGO -- ISG employees vote for shorter work day, Andrea Holecek, Northwest Indiana Times.
Retail project looks good|
CLEVELAND -- "Currently, First Interstate has an option on the targeted land, now owned by ISG. 'We have every expectation they will purchase the property,' Ronayne said. ISG already is removing buildings and scrap materials from the site," Tom Corrigan, Sun Newspapers.
CLEVELAND -- "A hardscrabble chunk of the steel valley's gritty past could become Cleveland's retail future -- a sparkling bounty of big-box stores, surrounded by a sea of cars. The man who developed Legacy Village wants to craft the city's first 'power' retail center, a $90 million project on 130 acres snuggled against the Jennings Freeway. . . Mitchell Schneider, president of Lyndhurst-based First Interstate Properties Ltd., wants to open Cleveland's Steelyard Commons by 2006. . . Clevelanders spend one-third of their shopping dollars -- about $1.3 billion annually -- outside the city, according to a retail study done this year. 'We have a chance to curb the outflow of Cleveland consumers getting in their cars and driving to North Olmsted, Valley View, Avon or Lake County, simply to buy their consumer goods,' [Cleveland Planning Director Chris Ronayne] said," Tom Breckenridge, Corwin A. Thomas, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND -- A plan to turn steel site into suburban shopping, Tom Breckenridge, Corwin A. Thomas, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
U.S. EPA assembles science on particulates as prologue to possible tighter regulation|
Focusing on fine particles
Air pollution bureau charts data after steel plant startup|
CLEVELAND -- "One would think if ever there was a chance to measure theimpact of a major industrial plant on air quality, this would be it. But not necessarily," John Kuehner, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Steel shares broadly higher|
Upgrades, International Steel forecast lift sector
NEW YORK, NY -- "Steel stocks racked up gains Monday after International Steel sharply increased its earnings guidance and J.P. Morgan Chase issued upgrades for AK Steel, Nucor and Steel Dynamics. Shares of International Steel gained 62 cents to $34.70 following its announcement, and shares of AK Steel, Nucor and Steel Dynamics all rose after being upgraded by J.P. Morgan. . . . International Steel said that it now expects third-quarter earnings per share of $2.00 to $2.10 per share. The prior Thomson First Call estimate was for quarterly earnings of $1.69 per share. A year earlier the steel producer earned 93 cents per share. 'We are having a better-than-expected quarter because of the continuing strength of the steel market resulting in higher prices,' said International Steel Chief Executive Rodney B. Mott. Mott said he is 'optimistic' that economic and steel market conditions will remain strong in North America and globally for the near term," Leslie Wines, CBS News.
Wilbur Ross buy of Horizon Natural approved|
NEW YORK, NY -- "A bankruptcy court has approved the $786 million sale of bankrupt coal miner Horizon Natural Resources to an investor group led by financier Wilbur Ross, Horizon said on Wednesday. . . .The deal with WL Ross and Co., the buyout fund led by Wilbur Ross, divides Horizon into two new entities, International Coal Group and Old Ben Coal Co., and creates the No. 5 U.S. coal company. WL Ross, which has built International Steel Group Inc. into a top U.S. steelmaker by buying and reviving the assets of bankrupt steelmakers, already has investments in coal miners in central and northern Appalachia," Reuters.
ISG Cleveland Works:|
CLEVELAND -- "393,385 people live and breathe within five miles of the ISG Cleveland Works. No comparable steel plant in the United States has so many neighbors. Second to ISG Cleveland is Rouge Steel in Dearborn, near Detroit. Ranked third is the U.S. Steel Mon Valley Works in Braddock, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Steel plant pollution respects no boundaries, of course. The resulting health problems are suffered most, however, by people living nearby," Paul Ryder, Organizing Director, Ohio Citizen Action (216) 861-5200.
MORE ON ISG CLEVELAND
|Aug 25: ISG put 76 million pounds of pollution into Cleveland's air last year|
MORE ON ISG CLEVELAND
|Aug 10: Good news for steel|
Doubled prices mean more jobs, profits; but it's bad news for steel's end-users
AKRON -- ". . . with steel makers finally returning to profitability over the past few months, 'now that they've got cash . . . now's the time to catch up' on maintenance, [Charles Bradford, an analyst with Bradford Research/Soleil Securities Corp. in New York] said," Gloria Irwin, Akron Beacon Journal.
|Aug 7: ISG to scrap remaining West Side furnace|
CLEVELAND -- "The furnace last glowed in June 2001, when it was shut by the bankrupt LTV Corp. Fast-growing ISG, LTV's successor, still operates two blast furnaces on Cleveland's East Side, as well as steel-making facilities on the West Side. . . ISG wants to use the scrap in making new steel," Tom Breckenridge, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
|Aug 5: ISG to expand Cleveland Works plant|
CLEVELAND -- ISG to add more galvanizing capacity; Plans to convert idle, LTV-era continuous annealing line, Metal Producing and Processing.
|Aug 4: Home Soot Home|
CLEVELAND -- "[ISG Steel is] the single largest polluter in Cuyahoga County. In 2003, they released over 70 million pounds of pollution into our air. . . Take a walk through any of the communities that surround this dinosaur of a filth pit and look at the filth on homes everywhere. This is one reason why the hospitals in Cleveland have a booming business with chronically ill people with lung problems. To add insult to injury, they received huge tax abatements with a lot of the money coming off of the backs of hard-pressed Cleveland communities and schoolchildren," Mary Jo Muser, letter-to-the-editor, Cleveland Free Times.
MORE ON ISG CLEVELAND WORKS
Jul 31: Rolled gold:|
Demand for steel boosts earnings
CLEVELAND -- "And not to be left out, newcomer International Steel Group Inc. of Richfield reported second-quarter earnings this week of $94 million. . . .At ISG, more profits mean more money for capital improvements, said Mark Granakis, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 979, and that contributes to the health of the plant," Peter Krouse, Cleveland Plain Dealer.
|Jul 29: International Steel Group announces second-quarter results|
RICHFIELD -- "Second quarter 2004 net income of $94.1 million was 33% higher than the $70.9 million in the first quarter 2004. . . With the acquisition of Weirton [Steel] completed in the second quarter, we expect shipments to increase about 300,000 tons in the third quarter. Average selling prices are expected to increase about $50 per ton as announced increases in base prices and raw material surcharges take effect. Production costs are expected to increase as scrap and other metallic cost increases are expected to be greater than the decline in coke costs. The markets for steel remain strong and we expect income from operations to increase about 50% in the third quarter," release, International Steel Group.
|Jul 26: Steel market red hot|
Mittal Steel news from Jan-Jun 2006, Jul-Dec 2005, Jan - Jun 2005