GFG Alliance to Fight Aartee Bright Bar’s Bankruptcy Filing


On March 15, a UK court will hear a challenge by GFG Alliance against Aartee Bright Bar’s (ABB) entrance into administration, the UK equivalent of bankruptcy. The move comes shortly after the business group’s mid-February acquisition of the specialty bar producer and its steel production facilities. According to a source close to MetalMiner, the decision directly stems from a February 24 application to reverse the administration.

“The court was in Manchester, and on Friday, the judge decided that there was merit in a full hearing,” the source noted.

ABB made the official announcement on February 6. A few days earlier, the steel production company’s New York-headquartered creditor, FGI, filed for administration. At the time, the latter company claimed it needed to enforce its debts against West Midlands-based ABB. It even appointed compatriot company Alvarez & Marsal as administrators.

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GFG Looking to Protect its New Steel Production Assets

Upon making the announcement, ABB’s parent company, Aartee Group, claimed it made regular payments to FGI. Furthermore, representatives described the creditor’s filing for administration as “disappointing.” Unfortunately, attempts to reach FGI for comment or clarification proved unsuccessful.

On February 17, GFG officially announced its plans to challenge ABB’s administration. In addition to this, that was the same day the group announced its acquisition of the company. “The application to challenge administration is being supported by a majority of business creditors,” said GFG representatives. “GFG believes the administration is unjustified and unnecessary, and risks an ongoing insolvency process that will lead to significant job losses and a fire sale of the business’ assets.”


GFG Alliance is the parent company of Liberty Steel, which has steelmaking production assets in the UK and worldwide. According to its website, Liberty Steel has an estimated total crude steel capacity of about 15 million metric tons per year. Liberty is the main feedstock supplier to ABB, and GFG noted its plans to integrate the bar producer into Liberty’s operations.

Bright bar production facilities at ABB include a bank of high-speed coil-to-bar drawing machines and a complement of bar-fed draw benches. Furthermore, there are also turning and polishing machines for large-diameter rounds and milling machines for squares and flats.

Besides bright bar, ABB also produces hot rolled products in 120-, 140-, 150-, 180- and 210-mm dimensions. They accomplish this by re-rolling engineering-grade flat and steel bars. Though the saga is by no means over, the result could have significant repercussions for the power balance in UK steel production.

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