Russia’s OAO Severstal has reached a binding agreement to acquire the outstanding equity of Warren, Ohio-based WCI Steel for approximately $140 million. WCI’s Board of Directors has recommended the transaction to its shareholders. The acquisition also has the full support of the United Steel Workers. WCI’s total annual steelmaking capacity of 1.22 million metric tons is focused on high-quality, custom flat-rolled steel for use in demanding applications. Together with Severstal’s current U.S. operations in Dearborn, Mich., Columbus, Miss., and Sparrows Point in Baltimore, Md., WCI will expand the company’s North American presence in the high-quality flat-rolled steel segment.

WCI’s manufacturing facility and product offering is complementary to Severstal’s existing U.S. assets. The combination will create potential synergies that will allow WCI to add value across Severstal’s U.S. platform. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in late second quarter/early third quarter of 2008.