American Industrial Partners Capital Fund VII, L.P. (“AIP”), through a wholly owned subsidiary, has today acquired ownership of the aluminium smelter located in Loon-Plage, France (“Aluminium Dunkerque”). The acquisition was completed through the foreclosure on the shares of Liberty France Industries 1 SA, which were pledged to affiliates of AIP under mezzanine financing arrangements previously provided to Aluminium Dunkerque, due to ongoing payment and other defaults. As a result, AIP is now the legal and beneficial owner of three legal entities in France: Liberty Industries France SAS, Alvance Aluminium Dunkerque SAS and Alvance Aluminium Service SAS. These three French companies own and operate Aluminium Dunkerque.
Founded in 1991, Aluminium Dunkerque is the largest primary aluminium smelter in Europe, specializing in the manufacture of aluminium slabs and ingots, used in the transport, automotive, aerospace, packaging, building and construction industries.
AIP’s ownership of Aluminium Dunkerque has been fully approved by the Bureau du contrȏle des Investissements étrangers en France (the FDI). AIP’s actions have also been completed in full compliance with applicable European Union merger regulations. On July 7, 2021, independent Administrators for the UK holding company which previously owned Aluminium Dunkerque were appointed by the English High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom. The purchase consideration for Aluminium Dunkerque will be determined in due course by an independent valuation conducted in Luxembourg by a suitably qualified valuation firm. Upon confirmation of the value, the corresponding sum will be applied as a reduction to the mezzanine debt otherwise owed to AIP.
AIP intends to continue to operate Aluminium Dunkerque together with the existing local leadership team, and does not anticipate any disruption to normal operations of the business, including for customers, suppliers and employees. AIP expects to provide additional capital to support the business going forward.
AIP was represented by Jones Day, Baker Botts LLP and Messier & Associés in this matter.
American Industrial Partners is an operationally oriented private equity firm that makes control investments in industrial businesses serving domestic and global markets. The firm has deep roots in the industrial economy and has been active in private equity investing since 1989. To date, AIP has completed over 100 transactions and currently has more than $7 billion of assets under management on behalf of leading pension, endowment, and financial institutions. For more information on AIP, visit www.americanindustrial.com.