Historic Sparrows Point steel mill sold to liquidator

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 08, 2012 10:21 AM
Historic Sparrows Point steel mill sold to liquidator

By Tom Hals

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - The historic Sparrows Point steel mill was sold to liquidator Hilco Industrial for about $72 million on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the result of a bankruptcy auction.

The 120-year-old Baltimore mill, where steel for the Golden Gate Bridge was forged, was one of three steelmaking assets put up for sale by RG Steel LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 31.

RG Steel's mill in Warren, Ohio, was purchased by C.J. Betters, according to the source, who was not authorized to discuss the auction results. C.J. Betters said it would keep mill in working condition for a period of time in the hope an operator can be found, according to the source.

The auction results must be approved by the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware. A hearing is scheduled for August 15 to approve the sales.

Gary Epstein, chief marketing officer of Hilco Trading Co LLC, declined to comment.

RG Steel's attorney, Matthew Feldman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, did not immediately respond to a phone call or email seeking comment. Xiaojuan Huang, an attorney who according to court records represents C.J. Betters, also did not return a call seeking comment.

Last week, some equipment and facilities from RG's Wheeling mill at Mingo Junction, Ohio, were sold off at auction.

The money raised from the auctions will help repay RG Steel's creditors.

The money fetched at the auctions is small change compared with the $1.2 billion RG Steel paid for the three plants, purchased from Russian steelmaker Severstal last year.

The case is In re: WP Steel Venture LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, No. 12-11661.

(Additional reporting by Steve James in New York; editing by John Wallace)