Steel Mills

Stelco Sale to Bedrock Approved

Written by Sandy Williams

Canada’s Stelco has finally arisen from the ashes of the U.S. Steel bankruptcy. The Ontario Superior Court approved the sale of the mill to Bedrock Steel on Friday, June 9. The company hopes to close the transaction by June 30 and emerge from CCAA protection.

“Today marks the turning of the page on a new chapter for Stelco,” said Michael A. McQuade, president and general manager of Stelco. “Looking forward, this transaction with Bedrock will allow Stelco to compete and succeed in the North American steel market. While our industry continues to face a variety of headwinds, Stelco is well positioned for a bright and prosperous future.”

The former U.S. Steel Canada has been under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act since September 2014, similar to Chapter 11 in the United States. The ratification of labor agreements with USW members at Lake Erie Works and Hamilton works paved the way for Friday’s decision by Justice Herman Wilton-Siegel to sanction the sale to Bedrock. The CCAA stay period was extended to cover the company until the transaction closes.

“We have diligently pursued the best possible outcome for almost three years, and I sincerely appreciate the constructive engagement from many stakeholders,” said Bill Aziz, Stelco’s chief restructuring officer. “In particular, I would like to recognize the sustained and focused efforts of Stelco’s leadership team and employees across the organization. Despite the uncertainty, the company’s dedicated people kept moving the business forward to the point that it is now poised to emerge as a strong, independent Canadian steel producer.”

Justice Wilton-Siegel acknowledged during the hearing on Friday that the restructuring plan for Stelco had taken a lot of cooperation and compromise. “These are difficult matters,” he said. “No one gets what they like,” but the plan will have “considerable benefits.”

Bill Ferguson, president of USW local 8782 at Great Lakes Works, called the court decision a “milestone.” The products made by Stelco are of the highest quality and in strong demand from automotive and elsewhere, he said. The union looks forward to seeing the company succeed.  “We always said we had a good shot at doing it without outside interference.”

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