The European Commission has approved a bid from Liberty House Group to purchase a number of ArcelorMittal’s European steelmaking assets.
“The assets form a divestment package the Company agreed with the European Commission (‘EC’) during its merger control investigation into the Company’s acquisition of Ilva S.p.A.,” ArcelorMittal said in a release.
The assets included in the divestment package are: ArcelorMittal Ostrava (Czech Republic), ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania), ArcelorMittal Skopje (Macedonia), ArcelorMittal Piombino (Italy), ArcelorMittal Dudelange (Luxembourg) and several finishing lines at ArcelorMittal Liège (Belgium).
Transaction closing is “anticipated to occur before the end of the first half of this year,” ArcelorMittal said.
Liberty House Group, headquartered in London and part of the GFG Alliance (led by Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta), announced plans to consolidate its global steel assets.
“Following EU approval today for Liberty to acquire seven major European steel plants from ArcelorMittal, the GFG Alliance has announced its intention to integrate most of its Liberty steel, engineering and mining businesses into a single global entity, spanning assets across the UK, Europe and Australia,” the firm said in a release.
“The consolidated business will include all of the UK steel and engineering assets, the integrated Australian Liberty primary steelworks in Whyalla, a number of high-quality Australian iron ore and metallurgical coal mines, and, once completed, the seven European steel plants being acquired from ArcelorMittal. This merged new group would exclude GFG’s recycling and building products businesses in Australia and the USA.”
Gupta touted the move’s impact on Liberty’s reach.
“We are delighted that the EU has validated Liberty as a suitable buyer for these European steel assets,” Gupta said. “This will make us the third largest steel producer in Europe. We are an ambitious and aspirational group and we keep breaking boundaries. The bringing together of our international integrated steel assets is part of our deliberate, strategic and sustainable expansion.”
Liberty House has been busy on the acquisitions trail over the past year.
In December, Liberty completed the $500 million acquisition of Rio Tinto’s Dunkerque aluminum smelter in France, which Gupta called a “real milestone” in Liberty’s “European investment journey.”
In addition, in January Liberty Steel USA announced the acquisition of Dallas-headquartered Keystone Consolidated Industries (KCI) for $320 million.
“KCI will be combined with Liberty Steel Georgetown to give Liberty Steel USA a total of up to 1.8m tons per annum of EAF melting capacity, 2m tons per annum of wire rod rolling capacity, significant value-added downstream businesses and over 1,300 employees,” the firm said in a release at the time. “The combined company will have operations in Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, New Mexico, Texas and Georgia.”