ArcelorMittal eyes auto steel JV with China's Valin

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BEIJING, Nov 26 (Reuters) Arcelor Mittal plans to set up an auto steel joint venture in China, in which it will take a 30 percent stake, with Hunan Valin Steel Tube and Wire Co Ltd and its parent, a Chinese executive said on Monday.

Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel maker, would also establish a stainless steel joint venture with its Chinese partners, said Li Jianguo, president of Hunan Valin Iron and Steel Group -- which controls Hunan Valin Steel Tube. The auto steel joint venture would be located in the southern Chinese province of Hunan and have an annual capacity of fewer than one million tonnes of cold-rolled steel sheets, Li said.

Hunan Valin Steel Tube, partly owned by Arcelor Mittal, would have a 40 percent stake in the planned auto steel venture, Li told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing.

Valin Iron and Steel Group would hold the remaining 30 percent stake in the auto steel venture under an agreement to be signed soon in Europe, Li said, adding that the project would await approval from related governments.

Li did not disclose the size of the investment in the two joint ventures, while an official at Valin Steel Tube's board office declined to comment.

Valin Steel Tube signed a framework deal this month with its parent and Arcelor Mittal to pave the way for possible cooperation, including the setting up of joint ventures and technology deals, the company said in a statement last week.

REUTERS SLD DS1552

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