Liberty Steel wins tender to buy Hungary’s Dunaferr steelworks

Liberty Steel has won a tender to purchase Hungary-based flat steel producer Dunaferr, the UK-based company told Fastmarkets on Tuesday July 11.Liberty Steel and Vulcan Steel, a private company registered in Mauritius, were the two main bidders for Dunaferr, industry sources told Fastmarkets.

Liberty won with a bid of €55 million ($60.35 million), submitted through its subsidiary Liberty Steel Central Europe Kft, Fastmarkets heard.

“We are delighted that our offer for the Dunaferr steelworks has been accepted as the approved bid,” a spokesperson for Liberty Steel told Fastmarkets.

“We will now work at pace with the liquidator to sign the sale and purchase agreement so that we can start to provide some certainty about the future of the business to its employees and the local community,” he added.

“The addition of Dunaferr into the Liberty Group, subject to the closing of the transaction and regulatory approval, will create significant positive operational and commercial synergies – by linking Liberty’s high-quality upstream businesses in Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic more closely with Dunaferr’s high-quality downstream business – for the benefit of customers across Hungary and Europe,” he said.

The Dunaferr steelworks was subject to a liquidation order from Budapest’s municipal court in December 2022, but the Hungarian government subsequently secured 16 billion forints ($45.85 million) in funding to cover the salaries of Dunaferr workers for six months.

In February 2023, Liberty signed an operational and commercial agreement to help stabilize the Hungarian company’s operations, and steelmaking at Dunaferr resumed in mid-February, under Liberty’s supervision.

Dunaferr has two blast furnaces with combined capacity for 1.4 million tonnes per year of pig iron, which is used to produce hot-rolled, cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil steel products.

The design capacity of Dunaferr’s HRC mill is around 2 million tpy, according to Fastmarkets’ company database. Market participants said that Dunaferr’s rolling mills have been idle since mid-June.

Published by: Julia Bolotova