UK-based Liberty, part of Indian origin industrialist Sanjeev Gupta's global GFG Alliance, Friday said it has entered into a financing pact with a syndicate of major international banks for buying Aluminium Dunkerque -- the Europe's largest aluminium smelter -- from Rio Tinto.
The term loan, secured on standard financial terms, provides five-year committed funds, the company said in a statement.
"This now clears the way for the eagerly-anticipated deal on the 560-worker site to be formally completed before the end of November following the completion of closing mechanics," it said.
The development follows extensive talks over recent months aimed at securing French government approvals, long-term power price contracts and robust measures to protect the business in the face of aluminium market turbulence arising in part from US sanctions against Rusal and the closure of a major alumina refinery in Brazil, Liberty said.
"After completion, Liberty intends to make substantial investments in the flagship plant, making it the cornerstone of a major integrated manufacturing business, producing metals and components for the automotive and other growing industries in France," it said.
As part of this, Liberty recently acquired the aluminium wheels factory at Chateauroux in central France, it added.
"I'm very pleased to have completed this committed facility with a broad range of leading banks allowing Liberty to complete this landmark transaction. It allows us to press ahead with our plans to develop Dunkerque, to expand production and create added-value downstream operations," Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance, said.
GFG Alliance is a global enterprise with activities spanning steel and aluminium production, mining, engineering, power generation, infrastructure, banking, property and commodities trading, as well as education and skills.
The agreement underlines the support of the banking community for GFG's vision for economic and environmental sustainability, Gupta added.
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