Liberty Steel, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global London-based GFG Alliance, has completed the acquisition of seven major steelworks and five service centers across seven European countries from ArcelorMittal.
The 740-million-euro ($835 million) deal makes Liberty Steel one of the top 10 producers globally, excluding China, with a total rolling capacity in excess of 18 million metric tons across 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 company says.
The seven sites, which became part of Liberty as of July 1, employ more than 14,000 people and include the major integrated steelworks at Ostrava in the Czech Republic and Galati in Romania as well as rolling mills at Skopje in North Macedonia, Piombino in Italy, Dudelange in Luxembourg and two plants near Liege in Belgium. The service centers are based in France and Italy.
These operations, with a combined rolling capacity of more than 10 million metric tons annually, supply steel to multiple sectors across Europe’s construction and infrastructure, automotive, aerospace, energy, industrial equipment, consumer products and yellow goods sectors. Liberty Steel says it aims to boost sales from these sites by 50 percent over the next three years.
The close of the sale marks 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, the company says. In the medium-term Liberty says it will explore opportunities to produce higher quality steels with a more flexible production profile.
These sites join Liberty Steel and GFG’s Greensteel drive to create an economically and environmentally sustainable business, based on low-carbon production methods, the company says.
“This is an exciting and important milestone in GFG’s journey,” Gupta, GFG executive chairman, says. “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 global business development director, says, “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.”
Wyelands Capital, the financial services arm of the GFG Alliance, advised Liberty Steel on the transaction, with corporate finance advice provided by Jefferies International Ltd.