British-owned Liberty, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, has announced today that it has entered into a committed financing agreement with a syndicate of major international banks for the purchase of Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto.
The term loan secured on standard financial terms, provides five year committed funds.
This now clears the way for the eagerly-anticipated deal on the 560-worker site to be formally completed before the end of November following the completion of closing mechanics.
The announcement follows extensive talks over recent months aimed at securing French Government approvals, long-term power price contracts and robust measures to protect the business in the face of aluminium market turbulence arising in part from US sanctions against Rusal and the closure of a major alumina refinery in Brazil.
After completion Liberty intends to make substantial investments in the flagship plant, making it the cornerstone of a major integrated manufacturing business, producing metals and components for the automotive and other growing industries in France. As part of this Liberty recently acquired the aluminium wheels factory at Chateauroux in central France.
Commenting on the sign-off from the banks, Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance said: “I’m very pleased to have completed this committed facility with a broad range of leading banks allowing Liberty to complete this landmark transaction. It allows us to press ahead with our plans to develop Dunkerque, to expand production and create added-value downstream operations. This agreement underlines the support of the banking community for GFG’s vision for economic and environmental sustainability.”