Moscow - Russia's steel giant Severstal announced on Monday the sale of its North American plants to US companies for a total of $2.3 billion (1.7 billion euros).
Severstal is selling Severstal Columbus (Mississippi) to Steel Dynamics and Severstal Dearborn (Michigan) to AK Steel Corporation, the company said.
AK Steel said separately that its acquisition was worth $700 million.
The sale would be completed “by year-end 2014,” Severstal's statement said.
“The work to prepare and sign the agreements to sell the assets was launched in the end of 2013 and has now been successfully finalised,” it said.
Severstal specialises in steel for the auto sector and household goods and is controlled by billionaire Alexei Mordashov.
The company had explained its disposal of foreign assets as a cost-cutting move, but the final sale also comes amid the worsening standoff over Ukraine between Moscow and Washington, which last week introduced its toughest round of sanctions yet against Russian companies.
Kommersant daily said on Monday that Severstal was particularly at risk of being hit eventually by sanctions because Mordashov iwas also a stakeholder in Bank Rossiya, a Russian bank put on the Treasury's blacklist in March.
Last week Severstal also announced that it was selling its US coal producer PBS Coal to Canadian Corsa Coal for $140 million by the end of August. - Sapa-AFP