ArcelorMittal to sell European steel assets to Liberty Group
Move clears regulatory hurdle for ArcelorMittal’s acquisition of Ilva
Sanjeev Gupta’s steel group Liberty is set to acquire the European assets of ArcelorMittal, as Liberty House pushes for expansion on the European mainland following a rapid build-up in the UK.
The assets include ArcelorMittal’s integrated steel works in Romania and the Czech Republic as well as rolling mills in Macedonia and Italy. The acquisition will take Liberty’s steel rolling capacity in Europe to around 10.5 million tonnes a year.
The deal — subject to a conditional agreement following a binding offer from Liberty — will also be an important step for ArcelorMittal.
The European Competition Commission had stipulated the disposal of certain assets as part of ArcelorMittal’s planned acquisition of Italy’s Ilva, Europe’s largest producer of flat carbon steel.
Other asset sales
ArcelorMittal is currently in negotiation to sell other assets — as required by the regulators — including in Luxembourg and Belgium. The Ilva deal faced uncertainty earlier this year amid signs of opposition from the new Italian government. However, following an agreement with unions in September, the administration indicated it no longer opposed the deal.
Liberty said it had worked closely with ArcelorMittal to prepare a transaction that met the regulatory demands and created a “secure future” for the businesses within the GFG Alliance — Liberty’s parent group — as well as with governments and unions.
“Following completion, Liberty intends to continue to A worker processes liquid iron at an ArcelorMittal steel works in Ostrava, Czech Republic (file photo)
investing in the assets — which already have many leadingedge facilities — and aims to achieve greater competitiveness through low-carbon production and closer integration with added value downstream manufacturing,” said Liberty in a statement.
“These are high-quality assets with highly-skilled staff,” said Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance. “We intend to work with local partners to position ourselves strongly within the domestic
supply chains of these fast-expanding national economies and become a pivotal part of a thriving European industrial sector.”
The sites will expand Liberty’s range of steel products in Europe and reach sectors including automotive, construction, industrial machinery and oil and gas sectors. Earlier this year, Liberty reached a deal to acquire Rio Tinto’s French aluminium smelter. It said it expected the deal to be completed shortly.