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Algoma Steel signs merger deal, gains $306 million in capital

Deal to close in third quarter. Shares to be listed on Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange
20170529 Essar Steel Algoma Silhouette KA 01
(File photo by Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday)

Algoma Steel Inc. confirmed late Monday that it has entered into a billion-dollar-plus merger agreement with Legato Merger Corp., a New York-based special-purpose acquisition company.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, providing the Sault mill with hundreds of millions of dollars to invest in electric arc steelmaking and to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 70 per cent.

The following is excerpted from the Algoma Steel announcement:

Algoma Steel and Legato Merger Corp. sign definitive merger agreement

  • transaction to result in Algoma Steel becoming a publicly listed company
  • all dollar figures in this press release are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated
  • at $10 per share of Legato common stock, this all-stock transaction values the combined company at an enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion including contingent consideration
  • at an enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion including contingent consideration, the combined company would be valued at 1.9x expected calendar year 2021 adjusted EBITDA of $901 million
  • transaction expected to provide Algoma Steel with $306 million of capital, including a $100 million fully committed private placement with key investors
  • new equity capital will provide Algoma Steel with flexibility to continue with strategic and transformational investments in the business, including the potential for a substantial investment in electric arc steelmaking which would enhance earnings potential and substantially reduce Algoma’s carbon footprint by approximately 70 per cent

The Canadian parent company of privately held Algoma Steel Inc. (“Algoma”), a leading independent steel producer with extensive steelmaking and finishing operations in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, and Legato Merger Corp. (NASDAQ: LEGO, LEGOU, LEGOW), a special-purpose acquisition company (“Legato”), today jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will result in Algoma becoming a publicly listed company with its common shares traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Algoma also intends to apply to list its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

As a publicly traded company, Algoma will continue to execute its growth strategies under the leadership of Algoma’s current management, with a board of directors that will include six directors designated by Algoma, three directors designated by Legato and one jointly nominated.

Michael McQuade, CEO of Algoma, commented, “The proposed transaction will provide Algoma with investment capital and an enhanced capital structure to support further transformative investments that are expected to drive improved financial performance and sustainable returns through the steel pricing cycle.”

McQuade added, “We continue to evaluate our strategic options, including the potential for a substantial investment in electric arc steelmaking."

”We believe that Algoma’s transformation and potential investments will allow Legato stockholders to participate in a significant value creation opportunity. We are excited to partner with Algoma’s management team which has an impressive track record of implementing cost savings and operational upgrades over the last few years,” said Eric Rosenfeld, Legato’s chief SPAC officer.

“At an implied valuation multiple of 1.9 times calendar year 2021 expected adjusted EBITDA, we believe that the combined company represents a substantial valuation discount to Algoma’s peer group and a great value for Legato’s stockholders,” said David Sgro, Legato’s chief executive officer.

Summary of the transaction

Assuming no redemptions by Legato stockholders, the all-stock transaction implies a pro forma enterprise value of more than $1.3 billion at closing and approximately $1.7 billion inclusive of contingent consideration.

In addition to the approximately $236 million held in Legato’s trust account, various investors have committed to participate in the transaction through a PIPE of $100 million at $10 per share.

The PIPE includes significant investments from strategic steel industry participants, as well as investments from Legato’s chairman, TD Wealth Management, Vantage Asset Management, JC Clark, Hite and Goodwood Fund.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, a subsidiary of Algoma will be merged with and into Legato, with Legato surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of Algoma.

The merger agreement provides that Algoma’s existing shareholders and management team will, collectively, own 75 million Algoma common shares on a fully-diluted basis, with an implied value of $750 million at $10 per share.

The merger agreement also provides that Legato stockholders will receive one Algoma common share for each share of Legato common stock and that each Legato warrant will be assumed by Algoma and become exercisable to purchase one Algoma common share at $11.50 per share.

The transaction includes contingent consideration of up to 37.5 million Algoma common shares payable to Algoma’s existing shareholders and management team if certain adjusted EBITDA targets for calendar year 2021 or stock price targets in the five years following closing are achieved.

Following completion of the transaction and assuming all of the contingent consideration is paid, Algoma’s current shareholders and management team will hold approximately 74 per cent of the combined company’s outstanding common shares, PIPE investors will hold approximately seven per cent  of the combined company’s outstanding common shares and Legato’s current stockholders will hold approximately 19% of the combined company’s outstanding common shares.

Legato’s board of directors has approved the merger agreement and resolved to recommend that Legato stockholders approve and adopt the merger agreement and the transaction.

Algoma has received both shareholder approval and board of irector approval for the merger agreement.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to the approval of Legato stockholders and the satisfaction or waiver of certain other customary closing conditions, including approvals from the Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

– SooToday