Liberty Steel’s discussions over a potential acquisition of Thyssenkrupp’s European steel business unit are expected to progress to the due diligence stage, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter on Nov 26.
Once negotiations enter the due diligence phase, Liberty Steel should in theory be given access to Thyssenkrupp Europe Steel’s “data room” which would detail the business unit’s financial accounts and performance.
Bloomberg quoted sources close to the discussions as saying they estimated that Liberty could access Thyssenkrupp’s accounts in the coming weeks, while Reuters cited unidentified sources who believe they could open their books as early as next week.
Since SSAB Sweden entered formal discussions with Tata Steel Europe regarding the acquisition of its Dutch-based assets, particularly the IJmuiden steelworks, Liberty Steel’s offer remains the only commercial bid on the table at this time.
That said, there have been very public divisions and announcements made by Thyssenkrupp’s management and the local steelworkers’ unions on the best partner and course of action for the company.
Chairman of the steelworks council Tekin Nasikkol highlighted the union’s opposition to a Liberty acquisition late last week, noting that “raising the money for the purchase is one thing – continuing to operate and develop our locations is much more important for us.”
Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe has the capacity to produce up to 12mn mt of crude steel per year from its Duisburg facility, which is capable of manufacturing hot strip, precision strip, heavy plate, coated, organic coated, electrical, packaging, and composite steels.