ArcelorMittal (‘the Company’) announces that yesterday it completed the sale to Liberty House Group (‘Liberty’) of several steelmaking assets that form the 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.
Assets included within 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).
The total net consideration for the assets payable to ArcelorMittal is €740 million. €610 million was received on 28 June. The Company is required to deposit €110 million in escrow to be used by Liberty for certain capital expenditure projects as part of the EC approval process.
Liberty Steel, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, today completed the acquisition of seven major steelworks and five service centres across seven European countries from ArcelorMittal.
The €740 million deal makes Liberty Steel one of the top ten producers globally, excluding China, with a total rolling capacity in excess of 18 million tonnes covering a wide range of finished products.
This is the largest single transaction undertaken by GFG and brings the Alliance’s worldwide workforce to nearly 30,000 across 30 counties.
The seven sites, which today became part of Liberty, employ over 14,000 people and include the major integrated steel works at Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Galaţi in Romania as well as rolling mills at Skopje (North Macedonia), Piombino (Italy), Dudelange (Luxembourg) and two plants near Liege in Belgium. The service centres are based in France and Italy.
These operations, with a combined rolling capacity of over ten million tonnes pa, supply steel to multiple sectors across Europe’s industrial heartlands, including: construction and infrastructure products, automotive, aerospace, energy, industrial equipment, consumer products and yellow goods. Liberty Steel aims to boost sales from these sites by around 50% over the next three years.
Today’s announcement triggers the start of a 100-day review during which Liberty Steel, working with local management, trade unions, customers and suppliers, will complete a comprehensive analysis of the businesses to explore investment opportunities and develop detailed plans to boost competitiveness, extend product range and support sales growth. In the medium-term Liberty will explore opportunities to produce higher-quality steels with a more flexible production profile.
As part of a global coalition of industrial enterprises, these sites will join Liberty Steel and GFG’s GREENSTEEL drive to create an economically and environmentally sustainable business, based on low-carbon production methods.
Sanjeev Gupta, GFG executive chairman, said: “This in an exciting and important milestone in GFG’s journey. We are extremely proud to welcome thousands of skilled and committed staff into the GFG family. We look forward to working together to create a bright and sustainable future for our group and our industry. These businesses will form a key part of our global steel strategy, of building a sustainable steel business, with a fully integrated value chain, from raw materials to high-value finished products that are distributed in high quality markets.”
Jon Bolton, Liberty Steel’s Global Business Development Director added: “These sites are well-positioned, efficient operations with competitive cost structures and we intend to build upon these strong foundations through a combination of judicious investments, changes to the production profile and synergies with our wider group.”
Liberty Steel was advised by Wyelands Capital, the financial services arm of the GFG Alliance, on the transaction with corporate finance advice provided by Jefferies International Ltd.