The largest aluminium smelter in Europe is now owned by American Industrial Partners after the firm bought the asset from struggling Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance last week.
In a statement released to the media, AIP said it gained title to the plant after foreclosing on shares pledged by GFG Alliance to AIP in a mezzanine-financing arrangement.
However, GFG said in a statement of its own that it would go down fighting the takeover.
“AIP has instead used its loan […] to orchestrate an asset takeover for what is well below market value. GFG Alliance will defend its position and its interests vigorously.”
AIP notes that its takeover has already been signed off on by French regulators and complies with European Union rules.
“The purchase consideration […] will be determined in due course by an independent valuation,” continued the firm in a statement.
The French government went on record regarding the deal as well last week, greeting the expected stability the new ownership of the Dunkerque aluminium smelter will provide.
“This development, if it were to be finalised, would allow a positive outcome for the company and all its staff,” Bruno Le Maire and Agnes Pannier-Runacher, French ministers of economy and industry, respectively.
The ministers went on to say that AIP has assured them that they would maintain production capacity at the plant.
AIP is expected to maintain the current leadership at the plant, and it foresaw no disruptions to production as it took ownership.
“AIP expects to provide additional capital to support the business going forward,” said the firm further down in the statement.
In 2018 the Dunkerque aluminium smelter’s 550 employees churned out 284 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium.