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Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance buying Belgian aluminum smelter from Novelis

Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance Ltd. agreed to acquire the Duffel aluminum plant in Belgium from Novelis Inc., in keeping with EU conditions for approving Novelis' US$2.6 billion takeover of Aleris Corp., which previously raised competition concerns, Reuters reported Dec. 6, citing a GFG Alliance statement.

GFG Alliance did not disclose a price for the deal and expects it to close in coming months. Duffel is the latest in a series of aluminum and steel takeovers around the world by GFG Alliance, having acquired a French aluminum smelter and a U.S. steel company a year ago, as well as ArcelorMittal's European steel assets earlier in 2019.

Duffel supplies the auto sector and is one of the largest rolling mills in Europe, with the capacity to produce 240,000 tonnes of semifinished aluminum products every year.

As a private company, GFG Alliance's rapid expansion has raised questions about financial transparency and corporate governance structures, as well as the uncommon nature and cost of its borrowings, with the company laying out plans in October to publish consolidated accounts and name a board of directors for the first time. It is also looking to consolidate its steel businesses into a single global company, targeting carbon-neutral operations by 2030.

Novelis is a unit of India's Hindalco Industries Ltd.