ArcelorMittal had to divest of some of its steel sites as a condition for buying Ilva
Photo: Matic Zorman/archives
The European Commission has greenlighted the Liberty House Group purchase of ArcelorMittal’s steel plant divestment.
The asset sale was agreed under terms set by the commission’s competition body to enable ArcelorMittal to acquire Ilva, an Italian steelmaker. The package concerns steelworks in Galati, Romania, Ostravia, Czech Republic, Piombino, Italy, Dudelange, Luxembourg, Skpje, North Macedonia and several finishing lines in Liège, Belgium.
In a press release published on Wednesday, the commission said there were no competition concerns and wrote that “Liberty House Group is a suitable purchase of the ArcelorMittal assets, allaying the commission’s concerns in the European markets for hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised flat carbon steel.”
The sale of the ArcelorMittal plant in Dudelange was particularly contentions as concerns were raised over its long-term viability because of a lack of investment. Under the agreement, Liberty House Group will now provide a higher amount of equity for the purchase, “with the level of debt decreasing overall and as a proportion of the acquisition’s price”.
Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal will no longer provide Liberty House with finance for the steel plant purchases through vendor loan notes. This was important for the Commission as it means the sites can better weather any downturn in the steel industry, making the new buyer less dependent on ArcelorMittal’s financing.
Liberty House Group is a private group active in commodities, metals recycling and the manufacture of steel, aluminium and engineering products. It is headquartered in London, UK.