French consortium, Ovako win bid for Ascometal assets

A consortium of French investors, together with Swedish steelmaker Ovako, have won the bid to acquire the assets of bankrupt French speciality steelmaker Ascometal.

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The commercial court of Nanterre made the decision on Thursday May 22.

The French consortium, through privately held investment vehicle Asco Industrie, is led by Frank Supplisson, formerly deputy chief of staff for France’s one-time minister for economy, finance and industry, Christine Lagarde; former ArcelorMittal ceo Guy Dollé; and Ascometal founder and former Airbus ceo Noël Forgeard.

Ovako will hold a small minority share in Ascometal, it said in a press release on Thursday.

“We are happy that our bid has been successful and that we have had a shared view about how Ascometal should be developed,” Tom Erixon, ceo and president of Ovako, said.

The privately owned Swedish engineering steel producer could not be reached for further comment at the time of publication.

A number of other companies had submitted bids for Ascometal’s assets, including Brazil’s Gerdau.

Gerdau intended to purchase the assets for €86.3 million ($118.1 million), committed to investing a further €150 million ($205.3 million) in the firm over the next five years, and had pledged to rehire 1,586 of Ascometal’s employees.

Paris-based Ascometal produced speciality long steel products for the automotive and oil industries. It went into administration on March 7.

It was previously owned by US fund Apollo Management, which bought the French steelmaker from Lucchini in 2012.