UK-based Indian-origin entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House Group announced it had reached an agreement in principle with ArcelorMittal to acquire the latter’s Georgetown Steelworks in South Carolina, USA.
The proposed deal between Liberty House and Non-Resident Indian (NRI) steel magnate Lakshmi N Mittal’s US steelworks includes a 540,000- tonne a year electric arc furnace and 680,000-tonne a year rod mill.
The agreement is subject to agreement on final terms between the two parties and completion of due diligence by Liberty over the coming weeks, a joint statement said.
If completed as planned, the acquisition will give Liberty House the opportunity to reopen and revitalise the business, which was an important part of the state’s industrial infrastructure for 47 years before its closure in August 2015.
“This is a landmark day for Georgetown and its residents, particularly families with a previous stake in the steel industry who will now get a chance to rediscover what was lost. Our agreement in principle with ArcelorMittal opens the door to the eventual restoration of several hundred jobs, both directly and in the supply chain, and it gives this region’s economy a new industrial focus,” Gupta said. It would also mark the first significant step in Liberty’s plan to make major investments in the US steel industry, the UK-based company said.
Gupta, the brains behind the GreenSteel strategy of Liberty House, has led a string of recent acquisitions of struggling steel units in the UK, including those formerly owned by NRI industrialist Swraj Paul’s Caparo Group and Tata Steel.
He explained, “This is a key first step for us in the US. We’re keen to apply the same low-carbon GreenSteel vision here as we are doing in the UK. Acquiring the plant at Georgetown, with its ability to recycle scrap steel in an arc furnace, gives us a strong platform from which to launch our strategy in the US.”