Nippon Steel Corp. is mulling the sale of two of its manufacturing plants in the United States as part of its efforts to streamline the firm amid the downside pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
According to the sources, both plants are in the U.S. state of Indiana and jointly operated with ArcelorMittal S.A.
ArcelorMittal has reportedly said it plans to sell its share to a steelmaker in the United States and hence Japan's top steelmaker is considering following suit.
The sources said that the factories, used to make products for Japanese automakers in the United States, are aging and no longer cutting-edge and this has affected their bottom lines.
Nippon Steel has already announced it expects a net loss of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars for the six months through September this year, and has also decided to close its Kure plant in western Japan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the firm to restructure its operations, including the cutting back of domestic operations, while focusing on bolstering its profitability overseas.
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