Colorado Firm to Acquire Rest of Kaiser Steel

Times Staff Writer

Kaiser Steel Corp. said Friday that Perma Resources Corp., a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based coal-mining concern, will acquire the stake in Kaiser that it does not already own from an investor group led by J. A. Frates of Tulsa, Okla.

Perma, which is led by Monty H. Rial, and the Frates group have jointly managed Kaiser Steel since they acquired the Fontana-based steelmaker last Feb. 29 in a transaction valued at $374 million. The Frates group subsequently gave Perma an option to become sole owner of Kaiser's assets.

Joe Clark, a spokesman for Kaiser, said Perma has also agreed to accept liability for permanent medical benefits due to about 65% of Kaiser's 4,800 eligible retirees.

Nearly all of the remaining retirees agreed to accept cash payments ranging from $6,000 to $9,000 for their accrued benefits, Clark said.

The transaction, which is expected to close after March 5, will provide Perma with control over Kaiser's 900 million tons of high-quality coal reserves, much of which is located in the Trinidad-Raton Basin, about 60 miles south of Perma's southern Colorado reserves.

Kaiser also operates a steel fabrication business and has considerable real estate holdings.

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