Global Banks to Fund Liberty’s Purchase of Rio Tinto Plant
Term loan for aluminium smelter secured on standard financial terms, provides funds for 5 years
Mumbai: Liberty House, the UK-based metals group, has secured financing from a group of international banks for the purchase of Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelter in northern France.
“British-owned Liberty, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance… has entered into a committed financing agreement with a syndicate of major international banks for the purchase of Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest aluminium smelter, from Rio Tinto,” the company said in a statement on Friday. ET reported on Monday that Liberty had sought more time to pay .₹ 4,810 crore to Indian banks for acquiring Amtek Auto and Adhunik Metaliks under the insolvency law after the payment deadline passed in October.
The term loan for the aluminium smelter has been secured on standard financial terms and provides funds for five years, the company said.
Liberty had made a $500 million binding offer for the smelter in January.
“It allows us to press ahead with our plans to develop Dunkerque, to expand production and create added-value downstream operations. This agreement underlines the support of the banking community for GFG’s vision for economic and environmental sustainability,” executive chairman of GFG Alliance Sanjeev Gupta said in the release. GFG Alliance is the $10 billion parent group of Liberty House.
Gupta plans to use the smelter to produce aluminium for an integrated manufacturing business engaged in the production of components for the automotive and other growing industries in France. It recently acquired the aluminium wheels factory at Chateauroux in central France.
In India, Liberty has bid for assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to get a foothold in the domestic steel market. It has already bagged auto components maker Amtek Auto and steel company Adhunik Metaliks. Its bid for ABG Shipyard has been rejected twice, although it is still awaiting a final order.
Its biggest bid (.`18,500 crore) has been for Bhushan Power & Steel, where Liberty has locked horns with Tata Steel and JSW Steel. The court is yet to deliver its final verdict on the asset.
In India, Liberty House has bid for assets under the IBC to get a foothold in steel market