Home / Companies / News /  Liberty Steel makes bid for Thyssenkrupp steel unit

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

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