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Court removes possible hurdle in Ilva deal talks between Italy, ArcelorMittal

An Italian court ruled that one of three blast furnaces at the Ilva International SpA steel plant in the south of the country does not need to be shut down, Reuters reported Jan. 7.

The decision may aid the acquisition of Ilva by ArcelorMittal, which recently agreed with state-appointed commissioners managing the plant to extend discussions about the deal until the end of January, according to the report.

The new ruling overturns a magisterial order to shut down the plant following the death of a worker, and it sets a 12-month deadline for the commissioners to make the furnace at Ilva compliant with environmental and safety rules, the report said.

Italy's government is considering investing in Ilva and may also discuss the possibility of becoming Ilva shareholders with certain banks in the country, potentially converting a portion of their loans into equity, based on a report from Italian daily Il Messaggero.