Arcelor Mittal to sell Georgetown Steelworks plant in the US to Liberty House

Arcelor Mittal, the world's largest steel maker, today struck a deal to sell its shuttered Georgetown Steelworks plant in the US to British metals company Liberty House Group.

Financial terms of the deal was not disclosed.

This will be the first major acquisition in the US for Liberty House, which this year acquired the specialty steel business from Tata Steel in the UK for $126 million. (See: Tata Steel UK to sell Speciality Steels division to Liberty House for $126 mn)

Arcelor Mittal is selling its Georgetown Steelworks in South Carolina, including its 540,000 tonne a year electric arc furnace and 680,000 tonne a year rod mill.

The Georgetown Steelworks has been closed since August 2015 and employed 250 people.

''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,'' Arcelor Mittal said in a statement. 

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.

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, SC. 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.

''Executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, Sanjeev Gupta said in  statement, ''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.''

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.

Liberty House specialises in commodities, metals recycling, manufacture of steel, aluminium and engineering products.

The group serves customers in the metals and steel manufacturing industries as well as in automotive, construction, marine, power generation, aerospace, motorsport, yellow goods, agriculture and mining.

Its current turnover is approaching $6.8 billion and it employs over 4,000 people globally.