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German group buys Ascoval and Hayange steel plants



The Hayange steel site has 430 employees. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Hayange steel site has 430 employees. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Germany’s Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS) Group on Monday confirmed the validation of its purchase offer for the Ascoval and Hayange steel plants by the French courts.

Faced with the financial difficulties of its parent company GFG Alliance and the bankruptcy of its main creditor Greensill, Liberty Steel had announced last May its intention to sell the Ascoval (Nord) steel plant and the Hayange railway steel plant in the Moselle department.

The German steel group made the news official, stressing that “this integration is fully in line with our growth and diversification strategy. These two plants have a unique position within the SHS Group. They allow us to develop new activities and to strengthen our competitiveness in line with our ongoing structural transformation process,” said Karl-Ulrich Köhler, chairman of the SHS management board.

Prior to this announcement, Luxembourg steel giant ArcelorMittal was one of the potential buyers bidding for the Hayange steelworks in France, alongside two Italian groups and Spanish steelmaker Sidenor. 

Ascoval is described as one of the most modern steel sites geared towards the production of green steel, with the Hayange site specialised in the production of rail steel. With the acquisition, SHS will pursue its European strategy for a green transition in the transport sector. For their part, Ascoval and Hayange will have access to new fields of activity, such as the automotive sector, and to new geographical markets, thanks to the SHS group's global sales network.

The deal puts an end to speculation over the future of the sites, which employ 270 people in Ascoval and 430 in Hayange.

The alliance between Ascoval, Hayange and Saarstahl within the SHS Group “opens up promising prospects”, said Jonathan Weber, chief operating officer and member of the boards of SHS and Saarstahl.

In Luxembourg, the employees of Liberty Steel Dudelange are hoping for a similar outcome with a local or at least regional steel company. But for the moment, even if Liberty Steel is experiencing financial difficulties, it has not announced any plans to sell the Dudelange site.

This article was originally published on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.