AM asset sale to Liberty to close by mid-2019: Mittal

ArcelorMittal’s asset sale to Liberty House was on track and will be finalized in the first half of 2019, ArcelorMittal Europe CEO Aditya Mittal told S&P Global Platts Tuesday at a media day event in Paris.

“There is no delay,” Mittal said. “As far as I am concerned, the transaction is on track.”

Sources had said the sale of steelmaking and rolling assets to Liberty would be delayed into next year. The European Commission is also said to be skeptical about the continuity of the operations being purchased by Liberty.

Speaking in front of journalists, Mittal said: “I do believe Liberty has a long-term vision in steel. [Liberty CEO] Sanjeev Gupta has been a long-term steel trader,” he said.

“Liberty made an offer for all assets divesting, which was important for the EU as it is creating a stronger competitor,” Mittal said, adding that ArcelorMittal would disclose the sale price and how the transaction was being structured once it was completed.

The assets sale is part of the remedy package imposed by the EU for ArcelorMittal for being able to take over Italy’s Ilva.

On November 2, Liberty struck a conditional agreement to buy ArcelorMittal’s Flemalle and Tilleur Liege and Dudelange facilities. Liberty and ArcelorMittal also reached a conditional agreement to acquire major integrated works at Galati in Romania and Ostrava in the Czech Republic, along with mills at Skopje in Macedonia and Piombino in Italy in October.