ThyssenKrupp will sell its U.S. steel plant to a consortium of ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal in a deal worth 200 billion yen ($1.97 billion), Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported in its online edition on Tuesday, without citing sources.

It added that the two buyers would split the purchase cost evenly and would announce details in early December.

Three people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that Germany’s ThyssenKrupp was in exclusive talks to sell the plant to ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel, the world’s two biggest steelmakers.

One of the sources said at the time the bidders were likely to pay $1.5 billion.

A Thyssen spokesman declined to comment, pointing only to the group’s Nov. 19 statement that it was in exclusive negotiations on the potential sale of the U.S. steel plant in Calvert, Alabama.

ArcelorMittal referred to a statement on Nov. 7, in which the group said it was interested in the plant, but gave no further comment.

Nippon Steel was not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours.

ThyssenKrupp has been trying for more than a year and a half to find a buyer for its Steel Americas unit - comprised of the U.S. factory in Calvert, Alabama and steel mill CSA in Brazil - which has drained cash from the company for the past few years. (Reuters)