Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa), the country’s largest steelmaker, denied media reports that it’s been sold to an international buyer.
There is interest to purchase Ahmsa, according to media reports, including from Techint Group.
However, a company spokesperson told Davis Index that Ahmsa is trying to secure capitalization after the Finance Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unitblocked its bank accounts and froze funds during a corruption probe.
Although the Mexican government unblocked some of Ahmsa’s bank accounts on May 28, 2019, the company’s chief executive officer was arrested in Spain.
In August 2018, an investigative news site Quinto Elemento Lab alleged that Ahmsa paid $3.7mn to a shell company created by Brazilian builder Odebrecht for the purpose of paying bribes.
It was also reported that Ahmsa made three wire transfer payments to Grangemouth Trading’s account weeks after the steel company announced a controversial 2014 sale of a fertilizer plant to Pemex.
Mexican authorities have been probing business links between Pemex and Odebrecht, which in recent years admitted to paying over $3bn in bribes across Latin America, including $10mn in Mexico.
Ahmsa produced 4.52mn mt of crude steel in 2018, but in 2019 production fell 40pc, according to an Ahmsa spokesperson.