GFG Group pledged on Tuesday to fight back against an ownership transfer of Dunkirk aluminium smelter to American Industrial Partners (AIP) that occurred last week due to GFG Group’s default on a loan to AIP.
GFG said in a statement that it will pursue legal avenues against AIP’s transfer, accusing it of acting in bad faith to secure ownership of the biggest aluminium smelter in Europe.
The firm has been struggling to find new sources of financing after longtime financier Greensill became insolvent this spring. Over the summer GFG announced a deal with Glencore plc to refinance debt upon Greensill’s insolvency.
In a statement, GFG said that AIP has intentionally made it difficult for GFG to make good on the debt, with the intent of causing a default and allowing it to take charge of the Dunkirk aluminium smelter.
“AIP has resisted all efforts by GFG to make full repayment of its debt, yet they claim GFG is in default. This is a cynical and predatory effort to try to acquire our business on the cheap. We will fight this with all of our efforts to ensure Dunkirk remains inside our international steel and aluminium group and can execute our long-term strategy, to the benefit of all of its stakeholders. Our employees, customers and suppliers deserve better and bolstered by our commercial deal with a market-leading partner we remain committed to the reindustrialisation of France.”
GFG did not specify any particular legal action it intended to pursue in the statement.
For its part, AIG noted that the transfer has been given the green light by French financial regulators who were seeking more stability in the plant’s ownership.