Esmark Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell its minority equity interest in Wheeling-Nisshin, Inc., a joint venture with Nisshin Steel Co., Ltd. According to the agreement, Esmark will sell its 35.7% interest for $71.4 million to Nisshin Holding, Inc., which currently owns the remaining 64.3% equity interest position. Esmark plans to use net proceeds from the sale to reduce long-term debt. The sale is expected to close this month.

Wheeling-Nisshin is a 700,000-tons/year galvanizing complex in Follansbee, W.V., established in 1986 as a joint venture of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. and Japan’s Nisshin Steel. It has two production lines, a 300,000-tons/year continuous galvanizing line and a 400,000-tons/year aluminizing line.