GFG Alliance acquires Aartee Bright Bar

GFG Alliance has acquired insolvent UK engineering steel distributor Aartee Bright Bar (ABB) via the purchase of 100% shares in Aartee Group Pte Limited.

This follows Aartee going into administration earlier this month.

GFG has provided funding to cover wages for four weeks to prevent a reduction in jobs expected under the administration. The group says it has filed an application to challenge the administration, and will seek to restart operations in a bid to save 250 viable steel jobs in the West Midlands, Rugby, Bolton, Southampton and Newport.

“ABB is a significant part of the UK’s steel supply chain and distribution network, and a key customer for GFG’s bar products produced in Rotherham by LIBERTY,” GFG chief transformation officer Jeffrey Kabel says in a note sent to Kallanish. “Our rescue plan would save 250 viable steel jobs in the West Midlands and across the UK. Over time, ABB’s business would be integrated into LIBERTY’s operations helping to reinforce our UK transformation plan focused on producing specialist steel products.”

Singapore-headquartered Aartee Group’s other subsidiaries are Ferretti International Australia and Aartee Distribuzione Italia.

GFG subsidiary Liberty Steel UK (LSUK) said last month it will reduce primary production at Rotherham and replace this with imported billet and slab amid high energy costs and imports (see Kallanish passim). The focus will be on high-value alloy steel production at Speciality Steel UK (SSUK). Liberty Steel Newport and Liberty Performance Steel West Bromwich processing lines will be idled. The move may potentially impact up to 440 roles across the business.

Kabel however said the firm will not be giving up on commodity products.

Adam Smith Poland