Sale of Arrium on track

Arrium’s committee of creditors has backed the sale of the steel and iron ore mining company to Britain’s GFG Alliance.

KordaMentha administrator Mark Mentha said the approval removed the “last significant hurdle” to completion of the proposed sale, which was announced on July 5.

The sale still requires approvals for the transition of workers’ compensation coverage to GFG and finalisation of accounting restructure steps, Mentha added.

These approvals are expected by August 31, which is also the target date for completion of the transaction.

GFG, which is owned by the Gupta family and includes the Liberty House metals business, surprisingly emerged as the buyer of Arrium despite a Korean consortium being named as the preferred bidder for the South Australian group.

In a last-ditch bid, GFG modified a previous offer it had made for Arrium to push KordaMentha in its direction as the Korean bid stumbled.

GFG executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta last week said the company had a vision to create a vertically integrated and sustainable industrial business that encompasses mining, metal recycling, primary metal production, engineering and distribution.

“We aim to leverage the advantages of integration across the value chain, from raw materials and metal production to high-end engineered products, coupled with supply chain and value added financial solutions,” Gupta said.

“The Arrium business fits perfectly with this strategy and we believe it has an exciting future leveraging our GREENSTEEL vision which has been well proven in the UK.  The acquisition will secure the jobs of over 5500 Australian workers, a similar number to that which GFG Alliance has saved in the UK.

“Looking forward, we will continue to explore opportunities to further grow our presence in Australia in adjacent and complementary industries, including renewable energy, metals and mining.”

Gupta will visit Arrium’s steelworks at Whyalla next week.

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