Nippon Steel believes shareholder accord necessary for Usiminas plan, source says

lunes 15 de febrero de 2016 17:17 GYT

SAO PAULO Feb 15 (Reuters) - Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp is willing to participate in a potential capital increase for ailing Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA if an understanding with other shareholders is reached in principle, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

The source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that an accord between Nippon Steel and Techint Group - the other controlling shareholder at the steelmaker known as Usiminas, is unlikely to happen before the latter releases fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

Reuters reported last week that Usiminas is seeking to refinance 4 billion reais ($1 billion) in loans, with lenders demanding that the company be capitalized prior to any debt relief plan.

However, an ongoing rift between Nippon Steel and Techint is making it tougher for Usiminas to raise new capital, sources told Reuters at the time.

The state of Minas Gerais, where Usiminas is based, lacks the necessary financial resources to provide support to the company, according to the source. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Alan Crosby)