Britain’s Liberty House has offered $US500 million ($637.6 million) for Rio Tinto’s Dunkerque aluminium smelter in northern France.
Rio confirmed it received the binding offer last night, saying it expected to complete the sale of Europe’s largest aluminium smelter in second quarter 2018.
The Liberty House proposal includes plans to modernise the site, according to Rio. Liberty House, the industrial division of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, also acquired Rio’s Lochaber smelter and assets in Scotland in December 2016.
Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said the offer represented the best option for future development of the site, while also delivering value for the company as its portfolio is streamlined.
“Liberty House has a track record of investing in similar assets, which should secure a long-term sustainable future for Aluminium Dunkerque and continued economic benefit for the wider community,” Barrios said.