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PENNSYLVANIA ANNOUNCES LOW-INTEREST FINANCING TO SUPPORT SALE OF PORTION OF BETHLEHEM STEEL'S JOHNSTOWN PLANT

 PENNSYLVANIA ANNOUNCES LOW-INTEREST FINANCING TO SUPPORT SALE
 OF PORTION OF BETHLEHEM STEEL'S JOHNSTOWN PLANT
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Lt. Gov. Mark S. Singel announced today that Pennsylvania will provide low-interest financing to support the sale of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Gautier rolling mills department of the Bar, Rod and Wire Division in Johnstown to a Pittsburgh-based company, preserving approximately 350 jobs.
 "The commonwealth, at the direction of Gov. Casey, has worked with Bethlehem Steel Corp. every step of the way in trying to find buyers for various assets that the company has for sale," Singel said. "For nearly a year, we have worked with the company and the United Steelworkers of America to keep these facilities open and to save Pennsylvania jobs."
 The announcement comes two weeks after Casey announced the commonwealth's intent to provide about $1 million in state financing to support the sale of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s wire mill operation, also in Johnstown, to TMB Industries in Chicago. This sale will help to preserve 250 jobs.
 "This is more good news for the people of Johnstown," Singel noted, "and this state will continue to provide as much support as possible to preserve those steel jobs."
 Singel said Bethlehem Steel Corp. has reached a tentative agreement for the sale of the rolling mills department with J-Pitt Steel Inc., a firm owned principally by Michael Pitterich, who also controls Molstrup Steel Products of Beaver Falls, Pa., a cold steel drawer and customer of the Gautier mills.
 "Pennsylvania, through the Department of Commerce, intends to provide low-interest financing to support Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s sale of its Gautier mills operation to J-Pitt Steel," Singel said.
 "Applications already are in the process for state financing through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund," he added.
 Earlier today, the commonwealth announced another $1 million in state financing to support the sale of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Trackwork Fabrications Operation in Steelton to Conley Frog and Witch of Memphis, Tenn. This sale will preserve approximately 300 jobs.
 The Gautier rolling mills department is part of Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Bar, Rod and Wire Division in Johnstown, which the company in January announced it would try to sell.
 In May, the company said it had been unable to find a buyer for the entire division and would consider offers to purchase individual components of the division.
 The Gautier complex contains 14-inch, 12-inch and No. 2 9-inch rolling mills and a shop that prepares steel replacement rolls for rolling mills. It produces special rolled steel sections used in a variety of applications, including truck wheel rims and lifter bars for forklifts, jail bars, wrench jaws, bridge decking, and frames for farm tractors.
 /delval/
 -0- 8/26/92
 /CONTACT: Veronica Varga of Lt. Gov. Office, 717-787-3300, or Ron Jury of the Department of Commerce, 717-783-1132/ CO: Pennsylvania Lieutenant Office; Pennsylvania Department of Commerce ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU:


MJ-JS -- PH040 -- 3626 08/26/92 16:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1992
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