Deals - Asia

ArcelorMittal's withdrawal from Ilva deal over legal shield is an alibi: minister

FILE PHOTO: Stefano Patuanelli arrives at Quirinale Presidential Palace, before being sworn in as Italy's minister of economic development, in Rome, Italy September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de Luca

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s industry minister called the decision by AcelorMittal to withdraw from a deal to buy Italian steelmaker Ilva on the grounds Rome had lifted immunity from prosecution over pollution issues “an alibi”.

Speaking to reporters Stefano Patuanelli said the government would not allow the closure of Ilva.

“The legal shield is clearly an alibi because it has nothing to do with the production process,” he said.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Stephen Jewkes