The European Commission has approved the transaction between ArcelorMittal and Liberty House groups after it has overseen over the past few months both the complex sales process and our current operations.
The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, Liberty House Group as a suitable purchaser of several ArcelorMittal steel plants, sold under commitments made by ArcelorMittal in order to buy Ilva. The Commission has also approved the transaction itself under EU merger rules.
In May 2018, the Commission approved the acquisition of Ilva by ArcelorMittal, subject to conditions. In particular, ArcelorMittal was required to sell a large package of steel plant assets to a suitable purchaser. The divestiture was proposed by ArcelorMittal to address the Commission’s concerns regarding effective competition in European hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised flat carbon steel markets.
The package of assets that ArcelorMittal chose and committed to divest consists of a number of production sites throughout Europe. These include the integrated steelworks in Galati, Romania; the integrated steelworks in Ostrava, Czechia and the finishing plants in Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and North Macedonia.
The divested production sites cover the whole value chain, from liquid steel manufacturing to the production of finished flat carbon steel products, including hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised steel. Thus, the divestment includes not only finishing lines but capacity for the production of liquid steel at two integrated steelworks that are also able to expand their production.
Bogdan Grecu, Chief Executive Officer of Galati Steel Plant stated that “a new page in the history of the Steel Plant is being written” and “this change means the increase of production volume and it brings many opportunities for us.”
“The property transfer process will be completed shortly. We will have a new identity, that of the Liberty Group, but our values remain the same. All commitments made to our customers or suppliers remain unchanged. With the help of our partners, we have succeeded in consolidating our position in the market during the last year when our business was autonomous as regards ArcelorMittal. We are already prepared to take advantage of the developments and upgrades announced by the Liberty House Group,” Bogdan Grecu added.
Today’s announcements mark a significant step in Liberty’s evolution. Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance, Sanjeev Gupta, said: “We are delighted that the EU has validated Liberty as a suitable buyer for these European steel assets. 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.”
“We look forward to leveraging Liberty steel and mining’s integrated supply chain to create further value. The business will combine Liberty’s integrated steelworks in Whyalla and its ambitious Australian iron ore and coking coal mining businesses, with Liberty House Group assets in the UK and the planned acquisition of the ArcelorMittal European manufacturing facilities.
“This combination will form a global champion, with fully integrated capabilities, shipping iron ore and coking coal and semi-finished product from Australia to its manufacturing plants and mills globally with the target of becoming one of the largest and most competitive fully integrated steel and mining producers in the world, from raw materials to high value finished goods,” he added.