Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, has through its industrial business Liberty, won its bid to acquire two French vehicle components suppliers in Poitou in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine.
Following rulings this week by the courts of Administration in Lyon and Poitiers, Liberty has become the owner of Saint Jean Industries Poitou and Fonderie du Poitou Fonte, and in so doing has secured hundreds of jobs dependent on them.
As a result of the rulings, GFG is now in a position to commence the implementation of a comprehensive recovery plan for the plants including, a refreshed orderbook, introduction of the LMOS (Liberty Manufacturing Operating System), investments in equipment and improvements in maintenance. The deal will secure the jobs of over 600 staff across both sites which produce a range of components for automotive engine assemblies. The businesses will henceforth be known as Liberty Engineering Poitou, incorporating Liberty Aluminium Technologies Poitou and Liberty Cast Products Poitou.
The acquisitions are an extension of GFG’s strategy for enlarging and diversifying its presence in the French Industrial sector and further underline its role as a major industrial player in France. They also allow the Alliance to enact its strategy of acquiring assets that give it a platform to deliver growth in the future of Green Drive Trains, used in electric vehicles, which will require ever increasing amounts of aluminium.
To that end, and in a move towards greater strategic focus and consolidation, the Alliance is looking to mobilise its aluminium and other activities into more globally-oriented business lines, which would of course include the Poitou companies.
These businesses enter the Alliance’s French portfolio alongside France’s second largest vehicle converter Durisotti, France’s only manufacturer of aluminium wheels, now Liberty Wheels France – and Europe’s largest aluminium smelter Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque.
The retention of a 600-strong workforce at the Nouvelle Aquitaine plants will allow GFG to draw on the significant local experience and expertise. The group will work with management and staff to improve operational working practices in order that the businesses can diversify their product ranges and build market share.
In addition, as both sites in part use recycled material to produce their components, their acquisition is another step towards GFG’s development of a GREEN-ALUMINIUM and GREENSTEEL supply chain, a key component of which is the increased use of recycled metals in the production process.