The litigation concerns the companies' 2019 agreement
ArcelorMittal has received a court order prohibiting the disposition of property against the Liberty Steel companies. The corporation is demanding payment of €140 million in debt from the opponent under the arbitration decision. ArgusMedia informs about it.
On September 19, the High Court of Singapore granted ArcelorMittal an injunction against Liberty. It prohibits the transfer of the latter’s Singaporean assets in the amount of up to €140 million outside the country. The court also granted ArcelorMittal’s motion to enforce the arbitration award.
The court ordered Liberty to provide an affidavit about its assets in Singapore – the company asked for an extension to October 20, but has not provided any information since then.
The dispute is related to the agreement of the companies from 2019.
Lakshmi Mittal’s Corporation won an initial arbitration ruling that said Liberty breached an agreement to acquire seven ArcelorMittal assets in 2019. As part of the acquisition of businesses in Ostrava (Czech Republic), Galata (Romania), Skopje (Macedonia), Piombino (Italy) and Dudelange-Liège (Luxembourg-Belgium), Liberty has agreed to pay £140m in deferred compensation. In addition, it was supposed to provide certain financial statements to ArcelorMittal, but this was not done,
“This is an ongoing dispute relating to a contested deferred consideration from 2019 which GFG [Gupta Family Group] is challenging through legal means. This has no impact on any of our operations, suppliers, or customers,» a representative of GFG, which includes Liberty, said.
On February 24, 2023, the High Court of England recognized the original arbitration award and enforced it. This meant that ArcelorMittal had the right to seize assets in the UK. If the value of the UK assets is insufficient, the corporation can transfer the foreclosure to assets in other countries. Liberty has not responded to demands for payment, ArcelorMittal said in a statement.
«ArcelorMittal reasonably contemplates filing a worldwide freezing order in the English courts to prohibit the transfer of any of Liberty’s assets anywhere in the world up to €140mln,» the company said in a further statement filed with the District Court of the state of Georgia (USA) on October 25, 2023.
This statement is part of a request to the American exchange Reibus, which is engaged in trading of metal products, to receive documents and testimony regarding the assets of Liberty Steel East Europe and Liberty House Group.
As it was reported in October, Romanian steel mill Liberty Galati, part of Sajiv Gupta’s GFG Alliance group of companies, faced more than dozens of claims from local suppliers regarding unpaid bills. GFG noted that many of these small claims are contentious and frivolous, resolving a small number of issues that needed resolution.