Former Ilva, 1 billion divides members: there is a clash over the amount of the increase

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Christmas is coming. And the Mexican stalemate over the former Ilva continues. Yesterday the members gathered for a quick meeting, which was opened and closed in a few minutes. The time needed to schedule the next board of directors in six days. The climate around this dossier is increasingly deteriorating. Nobody trusts anyone anymore. Last Monday the government summit at Palazzo Chigi acknowledged the absence, once again, of an agreement (see Il Sole-24 Ore of 19 December). In the following days the desperate attempt to readjust the course.

The stages

A board of directors meeting was held on Thursday in which Invitalia representatives did not participate. But a few days earlier the same thing happened, with those from Arcelor Mittal absent. The former IIva is now completely illiquid. With a certain optimism, Acciaierie d’Italia issued a note to explain that «a board of directors has been convened for next December 28th, with the aim of formulating a new resolution text to be proposed to the shareholders’ meeting in support of the company’s financial needs”. The problem will be, precisely, the wording of the text. Because even the private shareholder was convinced of the need to decide on a first minimum capital increase, despite having repeated so far in all the forums that he had put in more money than the public shareholder and that he had no intention of taking out fresh money, deferring to the appropriate moment the need for another capital increase, on the occasion of the acquisition of the plants.

The requirement

The problem is that, in the end, no real, simple, consistent agreement was found on how much real money each party would put in. In particular, the government and therefore Invitalia insist on the need for an overall and “on sight” financial package. Not just the 320 million euros of immediate needs, which alone are not enough for business continuity.

The requirement requested by the board of directors amounts to 1.320 billion, including the billion euros of new capital with which, in the spring, to acquire the factories, currently within the perimeter of Ilva under extraordinary administration: the necessary condition to make the company fully bankable again, which now does not have any assets to secure for new lines of credit. An availability of up to 1 billion euros, in the form of a loan convertible into a new capital increase, is formally included in the Aid Decree Bis of 2022, but the government intends to release it only following a pro-quota commitment from Arcelor Mittal. So, we are still negotiating.

The negotiations between the parties will continue until the last minute, with the prospect of using, in the event of a last-minute convergence, the last council of ministers of the year, convened on 28 December, to formalize a possible Prime Ministerial Decree authorizing the use of Invitalia resources.

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