Something is moving around the future of the steel group that has the largest steel production center in Europe in Taranto. Turns out to Corriere della Sera that the former Ilva dataroom was reopened by Intralinks, the company responsible for keeping it. And the opening of a dataroom that keeps all the most sensitive data of a company possible only when there is a new offer to purchase or rent the plants, even if not binding. It is more difficult to understand who expressed his interest after the Indian group Jindal clearly called off yesterday. Jindal had at the time presented an offer for Ilva together with Cassa Depositi e prestiti, the Arvedi group and the financial Delfin of Leonardo Del Vecchio. The option of the alliance between Marcegaglia and Arcelor Mittal was prevailing.
Now it is a question of verifying whether a new consortium can be formed in cooperation between a foreign investor and Italian subjects. Fabrizio Palermo, managing director of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, yesterday canceled a roadshow that would see him busy next week in the United States. certain that in Cdp at the moment there is no preparation underway for an operation on Ilva. Just as certain that in some government circles, especially in the 5 Star Movement, the option of a Cassa intervention is actively explored at this time; in the same Cdp also the words of the premier Giuseppe Conte were interpreted in this sense, when he said Thursday that the government is exploring all the possible options. Yesterday, however, the CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, Carlo Messina, acknowledged that the government has a role to play: Option number one remains an agreement with Mittal but if we are not able to reach it, then we must move to plan B, evaluating also a nationalization in order not to lose a strategic asset. There could also be a plan C, that of the split: a part of the former Ilva remains with the Mittals, while another returns to the management of the commissioners.
On the road to a possible CDP involvement, serious obstacles remain. The first of a technical nature: Cassa depositi does not participate in the nationalization of companies and cannot invest in companies at a loss. CDP should present itself as a group at least with a private investor. Through informal channels, contacts with the Italian steel world are multiplying, to investigate the possibility of involvement at least on an industrial level. If such an operation took place, CDP would not invest in the company and would not pay its debts, but would find some of its assets – especially the plants – on the basis of a detailed business plan from the extraordinary administration of the government commissioners.
But above all there is a political obstacle. Yesterday the two Cdp shareholders – the Ministry of Economy at 82.7% and the foundations at 15.9% – are not in agreement with the intervention in the former Ilva. Part of the government and the majority. But this area does not include the leadership of the Democratic Party, fully aligned with Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri. The road towards a steel rescue of Taranto by the State development bank remains long, tortuous and not at all obvious.
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