Steel Products Prices North America

New CEO for Essar Steel Minnesota

Written by Sandy Williams

Essar Steel Minnesota has named a new CEO to take the company through it restructuring process.

The company, which declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 8, has selected Matthew Stock to replace Mandhu Vuppuluri as CEO, effective immediately.

Stock has 25 years of experience in the steel and metals mining business including leading efforts to build and complete several iron ore beneficiation and pellitization facilities around the world, said Essar in a press release.

“The experience that Matthew brings to the table is a critical ingredient in our strategy to finally realizing the vision we originally had when we first began investing in this important Minnesota project,” said Prashant Ruia, a member of ESML’s board and a director of Essar Capital Limited. “To get the plant completed under the current circumstances, we recognized that a change in leadership was needed. Matthew will provide the new leadership and SPL will provide the new capital.”

Madhu Vuppuluri, Essar Steel Minnesota CEO since 2007, has taken a new leadership position with Essar Capital.

Essar Steel Minnesota file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after Gov. Mark Dayton pulled the company’s mineral lease after Essar failed to meet the deadline for a debt repayment agreement. Dayton has been in talks with Lourenco Goncalves, CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources regarding taking over the unfinished taconite project.

Essar claims that it entered bankruptcy protection before the leases were terminated and, therefore the lease termination is invalid. The company also said it has signed a “nonbinding letter of intent” with SPL Advisors LLC for a $250 million investment in the Nashwauk project.

In May, Essar Steel Minnesota lost a critical supply contract with ArcelorMittal USA to Cliffs Natural Resources.

Essar is still optimistic that it can shore up the debt ridden company and bring it into production. Following his appointment as CEO, Stock said, “I am very excited about the opportunity to get the project back under way and to see it through to completion as quickly as possible. We face many challenges, but overcoming them will be more than worth it when the plant goes online and becomes the lowest cost iron ore pellet producer in the U.S.”

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America