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Rio Tinto closes US$500M sale of Dunkerque aluminium smelter to Liberty House

Rio Tinto said Dec. 14 that it completed the US$500 million sale of the Dunkerque aluminum smelter in France to GFG Alliance's Liberty House Ltd., following delays to the deal's closing.

Liberty House committed to continuing operations at Dunkerque, with the Sanjeev Gupta-controlled conglomerate previously announcing it will make further investments into the flagship plant, which will produce metals and components for the automotive and other industries in France.

In October, Gupta reportedly approached several trading houses for at least US$160 million in loans related to the Dunkerque acquisition, after Swiss asset manager GAM began liquidating US$7.3 billion in funds on the identification of potential breaches to due diligence practices by a fund manager, some of which were related to investments in bonds linked to Liberty House.