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

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

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.

GROW­ING BASE

In In­dia, Lib­erty House has bid for as­sets un­der the IBC to get a foothold in steel mar­ket

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