ArcelorMittal signs pact with Liberty House to sell four European steel plants

Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty House Group. Photo: Shendrew Balendran/Mint

Sanjeev Gupta of Liberty House Group. Photo: Shendrew Balendran/Mint

New Delhi: Steel and mining major ArcelorMittal said Friday it has entered into a pact to sell four of its European steel plants to Liberty House. The four assets are part of a divestment package that ArcelorMittal agreed with the European Commission (EU) related to its acquisition of Ilva SpA, it said.

ArcelorMittal “has received a binding offer from Liberty House Group for acquisition of ArcelorMittal Ostrava (Czech Republic), ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania), ArcelorMittal Skopje (Macedonia) and ArcelorMittal Piombino (Italy),” the Lakshmi Mittal-controlled firm said in a statement Friday.

The closing of the pact is subject to the completion of the company’s acquisition of Ilva.

ArcelorMittal further said negotiations were ongoing with parties regarding the sale of other assets—ArcelorMittal Dudelange in Luxembourg, and several finishing lines in Liege, Belgium.

Meanwhile, Liberty House, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, also announced a conditional agreement to buy four European steel plants of ArcelorMittal, that employ more than 12,500 people.

The acquisition more than doubles Liberty House’s global metal manufacturing capacity. The group has a strong position in the UK as a steel and aluminium supplier. It also makes steel in the US for the automotive and other sectors.

“At a stroke these acquisitions would almost double the size of our workforce and global production capacity, giving us a strong presence in the heart of Europe’s key manufacturing regions,” executive chairman of the GFG Alliance Sanjeev Gupta said.

The group further noted that it had worked closely with ArcelorMittal to prepare a transaction that “satisfies the demands of the EU Commission and creates a secure future for these businesses within the GFG Alliance”.

Following completion, Liberty House intends to continue investing in the assets which already have many leading-edge facilities, and aims to achieve greater competitiveness through low-carbon production and closer integration with added-value downstream manufacturing.

In addition, Liberty House and the wider GFG Group, is aiming to develop close working relationships with respective governments, trade unions and other local stakeholders in order to optimise the value of the steel assets for the regional and national economies, the statement noted.

First Published: Fri, Oct 12 2018. 08 07 PM IST

Source: Livemint