ArcelorMittal seeks EU approval to buy Gupta’s French steel assets

Business Standard reported that ArcelorMittal is seeking approval from European Union regulators after bidding to buy French steel assets from beleaguered tycoon Mr Sanjeev Gupta.

According to European Commission documents, ArcelorMittal is planning to buy the majority of the shares in Liberty Steel France Holding SAS, which owns the Ascoval and Hayange plants. The deadline for ruling on the deal is July 9.

Liberty Steel France Holding sought creditor protection in April amid financial distress at Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance, which owns the assets. GFG’s steel arm, had said that it is taking prudent steps to explore sale options for these businesses after they faced a significant reduction in working capital support since the collapse of Greensill Capital.

Media reports last week said that Acciaierie Venete, ArcelorMittal, Beltrame, JSW and Saarstahl and two private equity firms are interested in acquiring Liberty Steel French units Ascoval and Hayange.

Hayange, near the German border, is considered a strategic national asset because it produces tracks for French railways and Parisian metros. Hayange produces between 250,000-300,000 tonnes of rails a year, most of them for France’s state-owned railway company, SNCF. Ascoval operates an electric arc furnace for waste recycling.

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