The world's biggest steelmaker on Monday retreated from its plan to buy the steel producer, blaming a decision by Rome to not grant it immunity from prosecution over the heavily polluting Taranto plant.
ArcelorMittal's decision sparked outrage across Italy, with trade unions blaming the steel giant and the ruling anti-establishment for pulling the rug out from under the deal which would have safeguarded thousands of jobs
ArcelorMittal signed a preliminary deal last year to buy Ilva, which has the largest steel-producing capacity in Europe, but the accord was thrown into doubt by Italy's new, anti-establishment government when it took office in June.
The approval is a significant milestone in the transaction to acquire loss-making Ilva and represents a major step towards closing the deal, which is now expected to occur as soon as possible, the company said in a statement.
Ilva, privately-owned by the Riva family, is Europe's largest steel plant by output capacity and is of strategic importance to the southern European steel sector, where it supplies carmakers and other manufacturers
Ilva, controlled by the Riva family, runs Europe's biggest steel plant in the southern Italian city of Taranto. But the maker of flat steel products used by carmakers, electrical appliance manufacturers and shipbuilders, has been at the centre of a lengthy controversy over pollution.
Buying into Ilva would give ArcelorMittal greater control over the price of steel in southern Europe.