LTV Buyer Chooses Name For Newly Formed Steel Business

By M.R. KROPKO, AP Business Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) - The court-approved buyer of bankrupt LTV Corp.'s steel mills on Monday said International Steel Group Inc. is the name of the newly formed steel business.

WL Ross & Co. LLC expects ISG will begin steel production on a limited basis within eight weeks.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Bodoh on Feb. 28 approved the WL Ross purchase of certain LTV steel assets for $127 million plus the unspecified cost of assuming environmental liabilities. The sale is expected to close before April 15.

ISG will provide management and financial oversight to its integrated flat rolled steel plants located in Cleveland, East Chicago, Ind., and Hennepin, Ill., and a coke plant in Warren, Ohio, said Wilbur L. Ross, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York-based Ross investment firm.

"The new company's name conveys the fact that international competition is a permanent part of the steel business," Ross said. "This new venture will apply the most effective management and operating practices and seek opportunities worldwide to achieve long term profitability and value for our investors."

As of now, ISG is privately held. LTV spokesman Mark Tomasch, who also is serving as ISG spokesman, said Ross was referring to private investors in Ross funds.

As expected at the time of its bid, Rodney Mott has been appointed president and chief executive officer of ISG.

Mott formerly was president and chief executive officer of Pechiney Rolled Products, a maker of aluminum products. He was also vice president of Nucor Corp., which has flat-rolled minimill steel plants, and he began his metals management career at U.S. Steel.

The new company, once it starts production, will increase operations based on market conditions, Mott said.

"We will enter the marketplace in a gradual, disciplined manner, with each plant focusing on the products it makes best, as defined by the market," Mott said.

Each ISG plant would have full responsibility for its performance and results, with local management responsible for accounting, purchasing, engineering, customer service and human resources.

Mott also said each steel plant would establish its own name to reflect its identity within the local community.

ISG expects to announce information about the recruitment of steel workers, management appointments and other matters after the purchase of the LTV assets has been completed.

LTV idled its mills in December, about a year after filing for protection from creditors and Chapter 11 reorganization.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)