Liberty Steel makes bid for Thyssenkrupp steel unit1 min read . Updated: 16 Oct 2020, 10:28 PM IST
A deal would combine the continent’s fourth- and second-largest steelmakers after a planned joint venture between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel was blocked in 2019
Liberty Steel, founded by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, on Friday said it had made a non-binding offer for Thyssenkrupp’s steel unit, boosting shares in the conglomerate and setting off a new wave of consolidation in the steel sector.
A deal would combine the continent’s fourth- and second-largest steelmakers after a planned joint venture between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel was blocked in 2019.
“Liberty Steel is convinced that a combination with Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe can be the right answer from an economic, social, and environmental perspective," it said in a statement, without disclosing financial details.
Thyssenkrupp shares surged as much as 23%, and the Essen-based company said it would carefully study the offer even as it continues talks with other potential partners.
Liberty said it was open to intensifying talks to explore making a binding offer for the unit. Germany’s most powerful union IG Metall has, however, opposed a potential bid, fearing it could lead to painful job cuts.
A sale of the steel business would mark a radical change in Thyssenkrupp’s composition and structure, following the divestment of its elevators business earlier this year.
Formed by Gupta last year, privately held Liberty Steel is a unit of Britain-based conglomerate GFG and comprises all of his family’s steel activities, with a view to a potential listing. It has been on a European buying spree, most recently in France, where it acquired the Hayange business previously owned by British Steel. reuters