December 18, 2018

Clyde & Co advises Liberty House on acquisition of Europe’s largest aluminium smelter

Global law firm Clyde & Co has advised Liberty House, the industrial arm of the GFG Alliance, on its purchase of Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto.

The acquisition of the plant – to be renamed Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque – now paves the way for a downstream investment programme at the plant.

Liberty House aims to make the Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque 570-worker smelter, bought from Rio Tinto for around US$500m, a foundation for a wider integrated manufacturing business serving the French and European markets.

Liberty has been supported by a syndicate of international banks led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch with a US$350m term loan facility.   

Clyde & Co's team advised on all aspects of this complex acquisition, including the interface between the acquisition and financing arrangements.

The Clyde & Co team which advised on the deal was led by partner Richard Elks and supported by a broad team from across the firm including legal director Jean-Michel Reversac (Paris), associates Richard Turner, Carolyn Kelly (corporate) and Will Rowling (finance). Rio Tinto were advised by Dentons and the banking syndicate were advised by Allen & Overy.

Richard Elks comments: "This is a very significant investment and something of a milestone for Liberty House's European expansion. The local economy stands to benefit from further investment and development of the plant, so it is very good news for the region. We are delighted to have helped Liberty get this deal over the line."