British group Liberty, part of the world GFG Alliance owned by Indian-born steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, will take over ArcelorMittal plant in Galati, next to other three ArcelorMittal units in Europe, according to a conditional agreement concluded on Friday.
The group has agreed the purchase of ArcelorMittal’s main integrated foundries in Galati, Romania, in Ostrava, Czech Republic, as well as the rolling mills in Skopje, Macedonia and Piombino, Italy.
The transaction, which is waiting for the European Commission’s go-ahead, will increase the total lamination capacity of the Liberty Group up to over 15 million tons per year.
ArcelorMittal has announced today in a press release that it has received a binding offer from Liberty House Group for the acquisition of ArcelorMittal Ostrava (Czech Republic), ArcelorMittal Galati (Romania), ArcelorMittal Skopje (Macedonia) and ArcelorMittal Piombino (Italy). The four assets are part of a divestment package the Company agreed with the European Commission (‘EU’) during its merger control investigation into the Company’s acquisition of Ilva S.p.A (‘Ilva’).
Transaction closing is subject to the completion of the Company’s acquisition of Ilva, and conditional on EU approval and the conclusion of information consultations with local and European Works Councils.
Negotiations are ongoing with parties regarding the sale of the other assets – ArcelorMittal Dudelange in Luxembourg, and several finishing lines in Liege, Belgium – included in the divestment package.
Bogdan Grecu, general manager of ArcelorMittal Galati-Skopje said that “this stage in our history is opening new opportunities to continue the steel production in Galati and to modernise the plant“.
The Liberty group has a strategic position in the UK, as the main steel and aluminum provider in the automotive industry, in aviation and in other specialized engineering sectors, as well in Australia, as steel provider for the construction and infrastructure. The group also supplies steel for the automotive industry and other industries in the USA. On December 19 last year, Gupta-led GFG Alliance completed the purchase of the South Carolina-based Georgetown steel mill from ArcelorMittal.
The announcement today comes following the recent launching of the Liberty Group’s investment programme in France, where it bought the last national producer of aluminum wheels and where they agreed on the purchase of the largest aluminum foundries in Europe, in Dunkerque, in a deal that is to be concluded soon.
In April this year, ArcelorMittal, world‘s leading integrated steel and mining company, had officially announced that, as part of the ongoing European Commission (EC) review into its acquisition of Ilva, it submitted a proposed divestment package.
According to a press release, the proposed divestment package includes the following assets: ArcelorMittal Piombino – the company’s only galvanised steel plant in Italy, ArcelorMittal Galati – Romania, ArcelorMittal Skopje – Macedonia, ArcelorMittal Ostrava – Czech Republic, ArcelorMittal Dudelange – Luxembourg; Hot dipped galvanising lines 4 and 5 in Flemalle; hot-rolled pickling, cold rolling and tin packaging lines in Tilleur, all of which are in Liège, Belgium.
ArcelorMittal Galati (former Sidex Galati) is Romania’s largest integrated steel plant. It was bought by LNM Holdings NV in 2001 from the Romanian state, for EUR 70 million.
In 2004, it became part of Mittal Steel, a company created by the merger between LNM Holdings NV and Ispat International. Two years later, following the merger between Mittal Steel and Arcelor, Sidex became ArcelorMittal Galati.
Besides the unit in Galati, ArcelorMittal has five more operating facilities in Romania.