April 23, 2004
A federal bankruptcy court judge has approved Weirton Steel Corp.'s request to sell substantially all of its assets to Cleveland-based International Steel Group (ISG) Inc.
"Our employees, our other stakeholders, and the Upper Ohio Valley now can breath a little easier. All the uncertainty and stress during the 11 months of this bankruptcy finally can be put aside. There is great comfort in knowing steelmaking will continue in Weirton," said D. Leonard Wise, Weirton Steel CEO.
Wise said the company decided in February—nine months after filing for bankruptcy protection—to sell its assets, after weighing whether or not to reorganize the company and emerge as an independent steelmaker.
"It's true today, market conditions are better and our liquidity has improved. However, this industry is cyclical and unforeseen equipment problems, coupled with the shortage of coke to make iron, placed too many risks on Weirton's future if it attempted to emerge as an independent company," said Wise.
Weirton Steel, which began operations in 1909 and currently employs 3,000, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 19, 2003. It is the fifth largest U.S. integrated steel company and the nation's second largest producer of tin mill products.