Steel woes worsen as Bethlehem files for Chapter 11

| 10/16/2001

Bethlehem Steel Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, becoming the 26th U.S. steel company to go into bankruptcy since 1998. The Pennsylvania based company said it had secured emergency financing of $450 million from GE Capital in a bid to return to sustained profitability, but the third-largest steel producer in the United States is saddled with $4.5 billion in debt, more than its assets of $4.2 billion.

Since mid-1998, Bethlehem said revenues had declined about $1.3 billion annually, damaged by sharply curtained auto production. This and a slowdown of construction has resulted in operating losses of $500 million and a negative cash flow since then.

LTV Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. steelmaker, filed for Chapter 11 protection last December. No. 9 U.S. steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 16, 2000.