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Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier advises France Rail Industry in connection with its affiliation to the Liberty Steel Group

Paris, 3 August 2020

Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier assisted France Rail Industry in the sale of its shares to the Liberty Steel Group, the world’s eighth largest steel producer outside China.

This sale follows the bankruptcy of the parent company of France Rail Industry, the British Steel group, which went into compulsory liquidation in the United Kingdom in May 2019. It was decided by the Strasbourg Civil Court on 23 July 2020 as part of a prepack sale organized through pre-insolvency proceedings followed by the judicial liquidation of the holding company.

As soon as the French foreign investment clearance has been completed with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the sale can be completed. At the same time, the Liberty Steel Group is also due to finalize shortly the acquisition of the Saint-Saulve steel mill, to create a single entity for the production of rails in France. The two sites are already bound by a contract for the supply of 140,000 tons per year for four years of blooms (steel bars) by Ascoval to Hayange for the manufacture of rails for SNCF Réseau.

The Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier team was composed of François Kopf (partner), Mathieu Della Vittoria and Louis Varale on restructuring aspects and Didier Théophile (partner) and Anne Faber on competition law aspects. SCP BSTG2, represented by Marc Sénéchal, acted as conciliator and liquidator.

The Liberty Steel Group was advised by Paul Hastings.