Swiss steel firm Schmolz + Bickenbach chosen to buy France's Ascometal

30 January 2018

Swiss company Schmolz + Bickenbach has been chosen by a Strasbourg court to buy troubled French steelmaker Ascometal, the court said on Monday, with Schmolz + Bickenbach’s bid prevailing over a rival one from Liberty House.

Ascometal, which makes specialty steel and employs around 1,300 workers, filed for court protection last November, and takeover offers for the company had come under the scrutiny of the Strasbourg court.

Like Ascometal, Schmolz + Bickenbach is a producer of specialist steel products.

Liberty House, which has been snapping up distressed steel and aluminum assets around the world, had emerged as a top contender to take over Ascometal alongside Schmolz + Bickenbach.

Liberty House is part of businessman Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, a $10 billion industrials, energy and commodity group looking to list a steel asset in the United States this year or next, having recently listed an energy asset in London.