Liberty restructuring advances, Galati assumes downstream coil plants

GFG Alliance says restructuring steps taken so far will enable it to pay back creditors following the collapse of lender Greensill Capital. Among other things, the group has focused on securing feedstock supply for its European downstream coil plants and is selling non-core UK units.

Since being set up in May, Liberty Steel’s Restructuring and Transformation Committee (RTC) has evolved a new strategy. Liberty will be focused on core business units, including InfraBuild and Liberty Primary Metals Australia (LPMA) in Australia, and the Liberty Ostrava and Galati steelworks in Europe.

Liberty plans to merge its Liège-Dudelange and Magona coil processing plants into the Liberty Galati organisation. The Romanian steelworks will become their primary hot rolled coil provider, to ensure sustainable feedstock supply. The closer link to the downstream plants will allow Galati to offer a wider product range to customers in Central and South Eastern Europe, Liberty says.

The first supplies of HRC from Galati are expected to arrive at the downstream plants within the next few weeks, allowing them to restart their lines soon afterwards.

Renaud Moretti, chief executive of Liberty Steel Downstream in Europe, will now report into Paramjit Kahlon, Liberty ceo of Primary Steel and Integrated Mining.

Liberty continues to assess a sales process for its UK aerospace and special alloys steel business in Stocksbridge, which would allow it to focus on developing Rotherham into an electric arc furnace-based 2 million tonnes/year capacity plant. The UK operation is also seeing personnel changes and exploring the future of the Engineering business (see separate story).

Besides securing financing from White Oak Global Advisers to repay LPMA’s Greensill debt and reaching an agreement with Greensill Bank’s administrators for an amicable resolution, Liberty has submitted refinancing memoranda for its European operations.

In a note sent to Kallanish, Liberty chief restructuring officer Jeffrey S. Stein says: “We are aware of the significant challenges facing the group but are pleased that we are making good progress to refinance, repay creditors and refocus the group on our core assets. Much remains to be done but we are optimistic that a vibrant, well-funded, profitable and sustainable business will emerge as we systematically restructure and transform the group.”

Adam Smith Germany