LONDON (Reuters) – Liberty House, the industrial arm of British steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, said on Wednesday it had made a binding offer for miner Rio Tinto’s (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) aluminum smelter in Dunkirk, France, the largest in Europe.
The group said it had chosen to invest in France in part because of a pro-business environment created by French President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Rio Tinto said in a statement that the offer was worth $500 million ”subject to final adjustments’ and that it expects to complete the sale by the second quarter.
Liberty House executive Jay Hambro told Reuters the group would invest 2 billion euros ($2.4 bln) in Dunkirk, with plans to build an auto components factory to process the aluminum into a higher-value added product.
Liberty’s offer triggers a statutory consultation with employees and other stakeholders and could, if successful, lead to the creation of thousands of jobs, both onsite and in the wider economy, the company said.