Liberty in France may look for a buyer

Posted on 28 April 2021

According to informed sources, Liberty Steel will be looking for a buyer for its two French facilities, Kallanish discovers.

Despite the €20 million ($24m) loan the French government provided in March for Liberty’s Ascoval and Hayange plants to pay wages and procure feedstock, the financial situation of the steelmaker remains troubled. A source close to the matter says that the management’s choice to begin dismembering its vast collection of companies and find solutions for each one of them is the wise course of action.

While the dossier of Ascoval and Hayange remains a “work in progress” and the rumors are unsubstantiated by the company, Liberty is also said to have found an American fund to support what remains of its aluminium branch.

This month three Liberty downstream engineering businesses - part of the Alvance Aluminium unit, the aluminium and iron foundries at Poitou and the wheels manufacturing plant at Chateauroux - went into “voluntary administration," the company says. Meanwhile in Belgium and Luxembourg sources report issues linked to supply from the rolling mills located in Liege and Dudelange. Earlier in April the company confirmed the mills were producing at less than full capacity (see Kallanish passim).

In Italy, at Liberty’s coils re-rolling facility La Magona in Tuscany, the workers’ fears of low hot rolled coil supply are escalating. La Magona’s traditional suppliers are beginning to refuse to work with the company without bank guarantees despite the advance cash payments.

A spokesperson for Liberty parent GFG Alliance declined to comment on Ascoval and Hayange.

Source : Kallanish