Liberty House targets aluminium smelter in France

Europe: Rio Tinto has received a binding US$ 500 million offer from UK-based Liberty House to acquire its aluminium smelter at Dunkirk in northern France.

In accordance with French law, Rio Tinto will launch a consultation process with employees, relevant European works councils and other stakeholders in relation to the bid, according to an report. If these produce a satisfactory outcome, Rio Tinto expects to complete the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque in the second quarter of 2018.

The proposal received from Liberty House - which acquired Rio Tinto’s Lochaber Smelter and assets in Scotland just over a year ago - includes plans for the modernisation of the Dunkirk facility.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios comments: ‘The binding offer for the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque represents the best option for the future development of the site while also delivering value for Rio Tinto as we continue to streamline our portfolio.’

According to Barrios, 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’.


Sign up now for our free, weekly newsletter