Ascoval: the Hauts-de-France region waives part of its debt to allow its recovery

Ascoval: the Hauts-de-France region waives part of its debt to allow its recovery

The factory owned by Liberty Steel will be bought by the German Saarstahl.

“This waiver of debt without any guarantee is not acceptable”, argued Sébastien Chenu (RN).

The Hauts-de-France regional council voted on Tuesday to abandon part of the loan of 12 million euros granted to the Ascoval steelworks (North), lifting one of the conditions precedent to finalize the resumption of the factory owned by ailing Liberty Steel by Saarstahl.

Within the framework of the negotiations initiated between Liberty Steel, Saarstahl, the conciliator and the public creditors, “public creditors are asked to abandon part of their loan (…) before July 31“, for “reduce Liberty Ascoval’s debt“And avoid the opening of a collective procedure, can we read in the deliberation.

Cash consumed

According to the text, “beyond this date and given the Liberty shareholder’s refusal to support its subsidiaries, the cash resources of Liberty Ascoval and Liberty Rail (Hayange) will be completely consumed“. The agreement in principle to abandon part of the loan granted in 2019 is given by the region, chaired by Xavier Bertrand, “subject to approval by the Paris Commercial Court of the conciliation agreement signed between the parties“. The exact amount of the waived claim, which was to be “a big partof the loan, will be determined later. This measure did not meet with political unanimity.

This waiver of debt without any guarantee is not acceptable“, argued Sébastien Chenu (RN). “Rescue plans follow one another without any conditionality“, regretted Julien Poix (LFI). On the side of the majority, Jean-Michel Michalak defended the measure, considering in particular that Saarstahl is a “solid buyer“, that “this takeover allows promising industrial synergiesand that the steelworks, which employs300 employees today“, is currently recruiting a fifth team. The German steel group Saarstahl confirmed on July 2 the conclusion of an agreement in principle for the takeover of the troubled sites of Ascoval and Hayange (Moselle), a takeover which should be effective at the end of July.

In May, Liberty Steel, owner for less than a year of the two sites, announced that it was looking for buyers, due to financial difficulties encountered by its boss, the British tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, and his family holding GFG Alliance.