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Last Updated : Oct 16, 2020 03:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Sanjeev Gupta's LIBERTY Steel Group makes non-binding offer for thyseenkrupp's steel business

thyseenkrupp had earlier tried to merge its steel business with Tata Steel's European operations

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LIBERTY Steel Group, owned by Indian-origin metal tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, has made a non-binding indicative offer to acquire the steel activities of German conglomerate thyssenkrupp.

In a statement on October 16, the UK-based Group said the bid is part of a thyssenkrupp-led process and the two sides have held on a non-exclusive basis.

The move is probably the most audacious one that Gupta has made in what is already a dramatic rise, from being an obscure commodities businessman to heading an ever-expanding global metals empire.


While his company hasn't disclosed the offer value, it added "there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to any agreement or transaction."

LIBERTY Steel is a global steel and mining business with annual revenues of about $15 billion and has 30,000 employees in more than 200 locations in four continents. Apart from steel, Gupta's GFG Alliance also produces aluminium. The Alliance's unit Liberty Steel Group operates the steel business, which is spread across Europe, Asia, Australia and the US.

"LIBERTY Steel’s current proposal is a non-binding indicative offer (NBIO), subject to certain assumptions about the business. The NBIO is supported by a number of financial institutions. Given the opportunity to proceed in the transaction process, LIBERTY Steel is open to intensify the dialogue with thyssenkrupp and would like to engage in further due diligence to present a potential binding offer," the company said.

thyseenkrupp had earlier unsuccessfully tried to merge its steel business with Tata Steel's European operations.

In an earlier interaction with Moneycontrol, Gupta had repeated his offer to buy Tata Steel's Port Talbot facility in the UK. Three years ago, Gupta had nearly bought the unit, along with Tata's specialty steel business.

The dramatic rise has often brought comparisons with LN Mittal, the Chairman & CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker. If Gupta manages to acquire thyssenkrupp, which is the second largest maker of the metal in Europe, the entrepreneur will close the gap with Mittal.

At present, it is not known if the German company is in talks with any other suitor. Though there are few businessmen in the steel sector at the moment who are as aggressive as Gupta in expanding operations, thyssenkrupp may attract investors because of its much admired product mix and clientele. The company makes 11 million tons of steel in Europe.
First Published on Oct 16, 2020 02:47 pm

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