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Bethlehem Steel: Press Room
  Bethlehem Steel: Press Room

Bethlehem Steel Board Votes to Sell to International Steel Group

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    For Immediate Release

    BETHLEHEM, Pa., February 8, 2003 - The board of directors of Bethlehem Steel Corporation voted this afternoon to sell substantially all of the company's assets to the International Steel Group (ISG), which has headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.

    "Following the board's affirmative vote this afternoon, Bethlehem will move quickly to finalize the asset purchase agreement with ISG to complete this sale early in the second quarter of this year," said Robert S. Miller, Bethlehem's chairman and chief executive officer. "This sale will provide a new beginning for our employees and our operations, which will continue without interruption during the change of ownership. ISG highly values Bethlehem's assets, which is good news for our employees, customers, suppliers and communities.

    "The domestic steel industry is changing rapidly as several transactions are underway to consolidate the nation's firms and make them more internationally competitive. The sale of Bethlehem to ISG will create North America's largest steel company and will help our operations remain a vibrant part of a reinvigorated steel industry.

    "With this change of ownership also comes some sadness. Bethlehem can no longer pay the health care and life insurance benefits for its retirees. Regrettably, expectations of life-long benefits were made during an era when health care costs were lower and the company's financial condition was stronger. Bethlehem continued to honor that commitment for the past 16 months after the corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. Since then, Bethlehem paid retiree health bills of more than $300 million -- benefits that many companies shed immediately after declaring bankruptcy. In either reorganization scenario of a stand-alone company or a sale, Bethlehem's retired population would lose their health care and life insurance benefits. As we are concluding our bankruptcy process, it is the appropriate time to terminate these benefits," Mr. Miller concluded.

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