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A STATEMENT FROM THE ISPAT GROUP

 PHILADELPHIA, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Ispat Group:
 On April 1, 1993, the Letter of Intent signed by the Ispat Group with Bethlehem Steel for the purchase of the bar and rod works of the BRW Division expired.
 When Ispat initiated its involvement in the process of acquiring BRW, it had a strategy and a business plan that would have led to the modernization of the facilities, upgrading of technology and expansion of the production; and would have created over 2000 jobs and provided long term stability to the operations of BRW. The task was a daunting one, but Ispat is no stranger to challenge. Indeed, within a short span of three months, Ispat had reached an advanced stage in the finalization of most of the issues involved including financing.
 Unfortunately, the rebirth of BRW could not be accomplished because the USWA decided to not conclude a labor agreement with Ispat. In February 1993, the USWA rejected a wage/benefit package that was innovative and superior to other packages the USWA had accepted in the recent past in Johnstown. Their counterproposal was unacceptable because it would have put BRW into the same financial condition that caused it to be closed by Bethlehem Steel.
 As a result, Ispat decided to not pursue the project. In one last effort to reopen the facilities, Ispat agreed to another meeting with the USWA. The Union asked Ispat to consider a reopener on interest arbitration procedure. Ispat, after serious and careful deliberation of the needs of the business and its potential employees, made such a proposal. Unfortunately, the USWA responded that only their unworkable February counterproposal was acceptable to the Union.
 Ispat made a serious, good faith effort to bring about a successful acquisition of BRW -- an effort that cost it several thousand man hours and several million dollars. Ispat was convinced from the outset that this project could only succeed based on broad-based participation. Indeed, at the Letter of Intent signing ceremony, Ispat's Vice Chairman Mr. Lakshmi N. Mittal said that this project "can only be successful if it can enlist the fullest involvement of its employees and the relevant Government agencies, the many suppliers including, in particular, the different utility companies, the customers and the community in general."
 Ispat would like to sincerely thank all the Government agencies, the financial institutions, suppliers, utility companies, customers and communities involved, and also Bethlehem Steel and the BRW management team for their unflinching commitment, unstinted support and untiring efforts towards trying to make this project a success.
 However, every opportunity has a time limit, and the time limit has passed for the Ispat Group's plans to reopen the closed BRW facilities.
 We have therefore decided to withdraw from this venture, and as we do so, we convey our best wishes to the former employees of these facilities and the communities in which they reside.
 -- The Ispat Group.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: Gregory Paolini of BRW Ispat, 814-533-7221/
 (BS)


CO: Ispat Group; Bethlehem Steel ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: TNM

MP-CC -- PH025 -- 2100 04/01/93 14:21 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1993
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