ArcelorMittal is fast-tracking its takeover of Liberty Steel’s French facilities, Ascoval and Hayange, by submitting an official request to the European Commission for acquisition approval.
The company is among other bidders to have shown interest in the French mills (see Kallanish passim). An EU document states: “ArcelorMittal … plans to acquire the majority of the shares in or the assets of Liberty Steel France … Liberty Steel France includes two main assets: France Rail Industries (‘Liberty Rail’) and a steel mill (‘Liberty Ascoval’).”
Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal confirms to Kallanish that it plans to invest in and grow the assets “in the short- to medium-term, improve the sustainability and profitability of both operations and integrate them into ArcelorMittal’s European network”. It adds: “The Hayange and Ascoval plants would benefit from ArcelorMittal’s significant R&D capabilities in products and processes, particularly in the rail business, market knowledge and sales footprint, investment and business development capacity, logistics and storage capabilities.”
ArcelorMittal would also commit to maintaining employment at existing levels, the firm adds. The acquisition would further enhance ArcelorMittal’s industrial footprint in France and complement its existing rail assets.
ArcelorMittal produced approximately 8 million tonnes of steel in France last year and employs 15,500 people.
Liberty Ascoval is a steel manufacturer, which produces continuous cast rounds and forged products at a production facility in Saint-Saulve, France. Recently, Liberty Ascoval started the production of blooms and square billets for a variety of applications, including rail blooms, which are supplied solely to Liberty Rail. Liberty Rail produces rails at its production facility in Hayange.
Natalia Capra France