Esmark head visits Yorkville

YORKVILLE – Esmark Founder and Chairman Jim Bouchard saw Friday’s federal bankruptcy court proceedings yield more for his effort to get matters concerning two steel mills in Yorkville he is poised to close purchases on than did the average bystander.

Bouchard said of the court proceeding Friday, which resulted in two days in mid-October being set aside for action on Esmark’s motion to compel RG to close on the sale of the Ohio Coatings Company stock purchase, “Obviously, it went well, and the judge set the trial date for Oct. 15.”

“In regards to Yorkville, we are working closely with the state of Ohio and EPA to put a plan in place for Yorkville. Esmark completed our phase 1 study and have requested to do a Phase 2 over the next few weeks to investigate and baseline Yorkville,” said Bouchard concerning the delays and concerns now preventing his willingness to close on the purchase of the Yorkville mill, due to an 11th hour revelation that RG had allegedly not addressed EPA concerns and had not shared their existence with Esmark.

“Obviously, the EPA letter was a shock, but everything must be done properly and, unfortunately, it will just take additional time to accomplish this,” offered Bouchard.

He also acknowledged the Phase 2 cost is expected to be $50,000.

“Moreover, our plan is to close (on the sale of) Yorkville as soon as all EPA matters are concluded, and we will then start ordering Hot Roll substrate for Yorkville,” said Bouchard on Sunday.

“The USW and Village of Yorkville have been very helpful, and I wouldn’t be visiting Yorkville with important future customers and spending time, resources, and money if we didn’t want to purchase Yorkville as soon as is possible,” said Bouchard, noting he plans to visit Yorkville again in the immediate future.

“We want to close (on the purchase of) OCC as soon as possible so we can assist to supply steel and secure OCC’s annual tin customer base for 2013,” he said, referring to this being a critical time period for OCC, as it is the annual window for negotiating tinplate steel product sales for the coming year.

Esmark’s successful bid in bankruptcy court recently yielded a deal including terms for the simultaneous purchase of the RG Steel’s Yorkville mill and for a 50 percent stock ownership in the nearby Ohio Coatings Company tinplate facility.

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