ArcelorMittal, one of many world’s largest metal producers, is amongst plenty of corporations poised to swoop for the French metal vegetation of beleaguered metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta.
German metal producer Saarstahl and Italy’s Beltrame Group are additionally within the operating to purchase Gupta’s French vegetation Ascoval and Hayange, sources accustomed to the scenario confirmed.
ArcelorMittal declined to remark. Saarstahl and Beltrame couldn’t be reached for remark.
The Monetary Occasions revealed earlier this month that Gupta’s Liberty Metal, the metal division of his metals conglomerate GFG Alliance, had put the 2 vegetation in north-eastern France up on the market after failing to refinance them.
Liberty Metal solely purchased the Hayange mill final August after its earlier operator British Metal collapsed into insolvency.
Ascoval was previously managed by Greybull Capital, the non-public funding firm that owned the UK steelmaker, and was purchased by Liberty on the identical time.
GFG has been scrambling to seek out new sources of finance since its major lender Greensill Capital collapsed into administration in March.
The group has additionally been hit by suspicions of fraud, which the Severe Fraud Workplace is investigating.
The sale of the 2 French vegetation is being intently watched by the federal government.
Hayange, close to the German border, is taken into account a strategic nationwide asset as a result of it makes metal rails for France’s railways and the Paris metro. Ascoval operates an electrical arc furnace for recycling scrap.
The French authorities in March supplied a €20m mortgage to the 2 vegetation. It has stated it’s keen to help the employees and websites hit by the troubles at GFG, however is not going to bail out shareholders. The loans got below the situation that the corporate would have the ability to elevate recent financing.
The formal gross sales course of was begun on the finish of April, in line with one individual accustomed to the scenario. Rothschild is advising on the sale.
GFG stated it remained “assured” of securing new financing, given the power of the metal market, regardless of the 2 websites dealing with a “vital discount in working capital help” since Greensill’s collapse.
“On the identical time, we’re taking prudent steps to discover sale choices for these companies and can be inviting events to submit presents,” the corporate added.
GFG can be promoting three UK speciality metal vegetation, together with its operations at Stocksbridge in Yorkshire, because it seeks to stave off a wider collapse.
Sources accustomed to the scenario stated that plenty of potential events had come ahead in latest days.
GFG has been attempting to refinance its British operations however talks with White Oak International Advisors, a US-based non-public finance group, faltered after information of the SFO probe broke. GFG has stated it’s going to co-operate with the investigation.
Jingye Group, the Chinese language proprietor of British Metal, has advised authorities officers it’s keen to step in to tackle components of Liberty Metal. The corporate, nevertheless, is known to be particularly interested by Liberty’s steelworks at Rotherham, which GFG has stated isn’t on the market.