Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel makes a non-binding offer to acquire ThyssenKrupp’s Europe’s steel business

Mumbai: Liberty Steel Group led by Sanjeev Gupta announced on Friday that the company has made a non-binding indicative offer (NBIO) to acquire the steel activities of Thyssenkrupp Europe.

“With both transformation experience and an entrepreneurial approach, a possible combination of Liberty Steel and Thyssenkrupp Steel would create a strong group well positioned to tackle the challenges faced by the European steel industry and accelerate the transformation to GREENSTEEL,” the company said in a media statement.

Liberty is a global steel and mining business with annual revenues of about US$ 15 billion with a total of 16.6 million tonnes of steelmaking capacity in Europe. Thyssenkrup on the other hand has around 11 million tonnes of capacity and works internationally for a wide range of industries, including the auto, engineering, special vehicle, household appliance, packaging, energy, and construction sectors.

Thyssenkrupp Steel, Europe’s second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, has been looking for a bail-out including a financial support from the Germany State.

Liberty Steel’s current proposal is a non-binding indicative offer conducted on a non-exclusive basis, which is still in a very early stage and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to any agreement or transaction.

The non-binding offer comes a year after Tata Steel‘s proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp, was blocked by the competition watchdog, European Commission.

“The NBIO is supported by a number of financial institutions. Given the opportunity to proceed in the transaction process, Liberty Steel is open to intensifying the dialogue with Thyssenkrupp and would like to engage in further due diligence to present a potential binding offer,” the company said.

From an economic perspective, there is potential for a compelling industrial concept given that the businesses are complementary with respect to assets, product lines, customers, and geographic footprint, Liberty Steel said in its statement.

While the company hasn’t mentioned the financial value of the deal, it said that, if the discussions materialize in any relevant agreement between the companies, Liberty Steel will publish further information on the matter in due course.

Liberty Steel recently acquired the Hayange business in France previously owned by British Steel and in an earlier interaction with ET, Sanjeev Gupta said that he is keen on investing and acquiring more stressed assets in the metals and mining space across the globe and in India.

The group entered India earlier this year, acquiring bankrupt steelmakers Adhunik Metaliks and Zion Steel for Rs 425 crore in a cash deal. Gupta had also mentioned that he is keen on acquiring the UK-based Port Talbot plant from Tata Steel.

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