Liberty agrees in principle with ArcelorMittal to buy Georgetown steelworks - 'First step in major US growth plan’
Global industrial and metals group, Liberty House, has reached an agreement in principle with ArcelorMittal to purchase Georgetown Steelworks in South Carolina, including its 600,000-ton a year electric arc furnace and 750,000-ton a year rod mill.
The proposed deal, which follows several months of discussion, is subject to agreement on final terms between the two parties and completion of due diligence by Liberty over the coming weeks.
If completed as planned, the acquisition will give Liberty the opportunity to reopen and revitalize this pivotal business, which was an important part of the state’s industrial infrastructure for 47 years before its closure in August 2015. It would also mark the first significant step in Liberty’s plan to make major investments in the US steel industry.
Confirming the provisional agreement, John Brett, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, said:
“We are pleased to have an agreement in principle with Liberty House on the sale and restart of our former wire rod mill in Georgetown, S.C. We have achieved our goal of identifying a purchaser with extensive steel experience and a commitment to returning this site to its steelmaking capability. We hope the community will welcome this opportunity that will preserve the facility and equipment and create good jobs with good wages. We look forward to working with the city of Georgetown and all impacted stakeholders while we finalize this important agreement with Liberty in the near future.”
Executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, Sanjeev Gupta said:
“This is a landmark day for Georgetown and its residents, particularly families with a previous stake in the steel industry who will now get a chance to rediscover what was lost. Our agreement in principle with ArcelorMittal opens the door to the eventual restoration of several hundred jobs, both directly and in the supply chain, and it gives this region’s economy a new industrial focus. We look forward to completing this agreement with ArcelorMittal and to securing the support of various stakeholders, including State Government and other authorities, to help make this vision a reality.”
Mr Gupta added: “This is a key first step for us in the USA. We’re keen to apply the same low-carbon GREENSTEEL vision here as we are doing in the UK. Acquiring the plant at Georgetown, with its ability to recycle scrap steel in an arc furnace, gives us a strong platform from which to launch our strategy in the USA. We’re confident that, with the right support from the community and authorities, we can make Georgetown and other US steel plants competitive, profitable and sustainable.”
Liberty House has also been in discussion with the United Steelworkers and is confident that the union will support and assist in the process of recruiting a workforce to re-open the plant and rebuild the business.
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