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August, 7th 2020

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Latvia's Liepajas metalurgs sells to Ukrainian scrap group, KVV


Latvian rebar maker, Liepajas metalurgs (LM), has been acquired by a little-known Ukrainian scrap company KVV Group, for a reported €107m price tag, Kallanish learns. The mill was most recently put up for sale earlier this year, having previously stopped producing steel in May 2013, according to an LM statement.

Last year’s difficulties stemmed from a lack of working capital: the insolvency process was then started last November, it adds. The mill’s tender invitation notes that LM operates an electric arc furnace, which was commissioned in September 2011 by Italy’s STG Group: “This can be considered as one of the most modern and efficient meltshops in Europe,” according to the marketing brochure.

It adds that the Baltic States can supply up to 800,000 tonnes to 1 million t/y of scrap, which covers 80-90% of the mill’s requirement. In addition, nearby scrap exporting countries provide low freight costs and one of LM's advantages over other ex-CIS mills is its captive deepwater port, which does not freeze despite being so far north on the Baltic Sea, the brochure claims.

Some 98% of LM's output is exported, providing Latvia with 10% of its overall export receipts, the company adds.

KVV’s co-owner Valery Kristal has told Latvian journalists that his group operates a network of scrapyards across Ukraine, and that he has had experience of a similar plant in Donetsk. One unconfirmed report adds, that “KVV Group owns 12 plants in Ukraine, although because of the current unrest only three are presently operating.”