An investment firm in a legal battle with Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance said this week that it is now the owner of the biggest aluminium smelter on the European continent.
American Industrial Partners said that GFG Alliance’s default on its debt with them means now they are the titleholders to the smelter in Duffel, Belgium. Per AIP, GFG Alliance failed to fulfill the terms of the loan it took out after it defaulted on a previous loan last year.
“As a result, AIP is now the legal and beneficial owner […] and does not anticipate any disruption to normal operations of the business.”
This is the second of GFG Alliance’s major assets AIP has claimed ownership of in the past year. Last fall the firm took over Europe’s biggest aluminium smelter in France for like reason.
For its part, GFG Alliance accused AIP of less than fair treatment, as the investment firm allegedly refused to take payments on the debt in both instances.
“GFG is committed to take all steps possible to fight against AIP’s premeditated, predatory manoeuvres to seize our Dunkirk and Duffel assets on the cheap.”
GFG Alliance’s financial situation was thrown into disarray last year after major financier Greensill suddenly went into default. Since then, Gupta has been fighting a battle against creditors while searching for new financial backers for GFG Alliance’s various operations. The firm spent much of the last few years buying up aluminium and other metals assets around the world.
The Duffel rolled aluminium plant has a nameplate capacity of 250 thousand metric tons and employs about a thousand laborers. The plant produces rolled aluminium for the auto industry.