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CSN to proceed with deleveraging by July, says CEO

Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional CEO Benjamin Steinbruch vowed to proceed with the deleveraging of the company by July, Bloomberg News reported May 11.

According to the report, the Brazilian steelmaker's CEO became emboldened after completing roadshows earlier this year in which investors told him that the company can gain more attractive credit ratings if it could reduce debt below three times earnings before items.

Steinbruch said earlier that the Brazilian steelmaker would conclude asset sales of 2 billion to 3 billion reais this year to slash its debt, which potentially includes a stake in rival steelmaker Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA.

The executive added that he was confident about concluding debt talks with Caixa Economica Federal by the end of this month.

In February, CSN struck a deal with Banco do Brasil SA outlining the main terms of extending debt maturities. Both Caixa and Banco do Brazil holds about 49% of CSN's total indebtedness, with the steelmaker aiming to stretch repayments to 45 months from 26 months.

As of May 10, US$1 was equivalent to 3.55 Brazilian reais.