WARREN - RG Steel LLC's Warren steel mill apparently can be bought after all, along with everything else the nation's fourth-largest steelmaker owns.
Company spokeswoman Bette Kovach Monday confirmed reports that "everything is on the table," according to RG's Chief Commercial Officer Jerry Nelson, whose comments were reported by Steel Business Briefing at a dinner in Baltimore on Thursday.
Nelson was quoted as saying people have expressed interest in acquiring some of RG's facilities.
"We're looking at a variety of options. We're not getting into specifics," Kovach said.
Earlier Thursday, Kovach denied a previous report that the company had sought the United Steelworkers permission to sell assets, saying the company hasn't asked the union to find a buyer for its plants, and hasn't had any negotiations with the union on the subject. The union has the right to reject a sale.
She said the steelmaker, which employs about 1,100 hourly and salaried workers at its Warren mill, has a business plan to show it will achieve positive cash flow in six months, even if prices for its basic product, hot band steel, drops to $650 a ton. Hot band steel is selling for $680 a ton.
Darryl Parker, who last month was elected president of United Steelworkers Local 1375 at RG Warren, said his nearly 1,000 members are working as usual.
"Until I get some solid information, it's all rumor and conjecture to me," he said, adding, "If there was a sale, I'd be one of the first ones to find out."
Parker noted the second quarter typically is a slow one in the industry, as warehouses don't order as much steel while they adjust inventories.
RG Steel earlier this month cut pay and some benefits for salaried and nonunion workers in a cost-saving effort that included efforts to boost steel throughput, fine-tuning processes and finding other sources for the goods and services.
Last year it received $100 million from Cerberus Capital Management L.P.
Besides Warren, RG owns Sparrows Point near Baltimore and Wheeling-Pitt operations. The company began March 31, 2011, with the purchase of the facilities from OAO Severstal.