March 3, 2015 Esmark, Inc. Reaffirms Continued Interest in Restructuring, Revitalization Plans for Železara Smederevo Steel Works; Seeks Management Services Agreement with Republic of Serbia
Company’s 10-Months of Due Diligence, Strong Working Relationships with Government Leaders and Union, Network of Global Steel Partners, and Materials Procurement and Commercial Sales Expertise Keys to Mill’s Future
March 3, 2015
PITTSBURGH, PA – Esmark, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James P. Bouchard, today announced that despite the recent efforts to reach a definitive agreement with the Republic of Serbia for the restructuring and revitalization of the Železara Smederevo Steel Works, Esmark continues to believe its comprehensive business plan and world-class management team provide the best possible future for the mill.
Esmark, Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James P. Bouchard said, “As we stated at the conclusion of the negotiations in Pittsburgh last month, we remain committed to moving forward with the Republic of Serbia, and Esmark is fully prepared to enter into a management services agreement to revitalize Železara Smederevo, with the ultimate goal to acquire the facilities on or before January 1, 2016.”
“Over the past 10 months of due-diligence we have worked closely with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Finance Minister Dušan Vujović, the privatization commission members, the dedicated steelworkers and their union leadership, and U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby to deliver a comprehensive and viable restructuring and operations plan that would revive the mill and ensure the future of 5,300 steelworkers’ jobs,” Bouchard emphasized.
“Esmark incurred more than $3 million (USD) in due diligence and business planning expenses at no cost to the Serbian government during this process, as well as placing our expert management team on the ground in Zelezara and activating our global raw materials procurement and commercial sales operations. Together with our global network of European, Asian and North American steel partners, we’re confident that no other potential third-party partner or company understands these steel-making assets or how to manage them better than we do.”
To reaffirm Esmark’s continued interest in Železara Smederevo, Bouchard said his management team would commit to remaining at the plant for at least eight more months under Serbian ownership while working on a definitive agreement to assume operating and ownership control of the facility on or before January 1, 2016.
Bill Keegan, Director of Communications