GFG’s aluminium business looks along supply chain for takeovers

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Alvance, the aluminium business of British commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, is on the lookout for takeovers to triple production and create a vertically-integrated group, its chief executive said on Monday.

The privately-held group is seeking acquisitions that include green energy in order to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, CEO Arnaud de Weert told the online CRU World Aluminium conference.

Paris-headquartered Alvance aims to boost capacity to 1 million tonnes annually of primary aluminium in three years from the current level of 332,000 tonnes, he added.

“We’re looking at whatever’s coming on the table and talking to the people who own assets that would fit our portfolio,” De Weert said.

“And we’re in a little bit of luck because it seems that quite a few primary producers and integrated players are reviewing their portfolios.”

Alvance is part of the GFG Alliance, a conglomerate which holds the Gupta family operations including steel, aluminium and infrastructure.

Alvance is looking at takeovers in primary aluminium, raw materials bauxite and alumina as well as value-added products, because vertical integration provides a natural hedge against price fluctuations, he said.

“We’re not in alumina processing or bauxite mining yet, but our vision is to capture the complete aluminium supply chain.”

Alvance, with about 1,700 workers, owns Europe’s largest aluminium smelter in Dunkirk, and agreed last December to buy the Duffel aluminium plant in Belgium from Novelis, which mainly produces products for the auto sector.

De Weert said Alvance was awaiting regulatory approval from the Chinese authorities for Duffel, which was expected to be imminent.

Alvance aims to sell future production on the London Metal Exchange (LME) to protect against price declines, he said.

“Because typically we’re in the second quartile cost positions, when the LME (price) goes up, we will hedge to protect the downside for the future years.” (Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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