Liberty House, the London-based metal company, has completed a landmark acquisition of ArcelorMittal's European steel assets, catapulting the Sanjeev Gupta-led firm into the top 10 steel producers globally, excluding China.
Jay Hambro, global chief investment officer at Liberty House shared his views and outlook following the deal.
ArcelorMittal's European steel assets acquired by Liberty House are all functioning, he said. Speaking about acquisition opportunities in India, he said: “We will continue to watch progression in this sector in India and we are keeping it under review.”
He added: “We are very fortunate. We enjoy a very positive and constructive relationship with Tata. We have acquired a number of assets from Tata Steel and we keep a very closed dialogue with them to explore further alternatives,” said Hambro.
Talking about steel cycle, he said: “You have to look at the steel cycle in terms of the fundamentals of demand and supply for all elements of the cycle.
“What you have seen which has been a troublesome impact to steel is the fact that both the two raw materials — iron ore and coking coal — are at record prices and the steel price has not caught up with that uplift in these raw materials. So you have seen a contraction in the margin, in the profitability of the steel businesses that are making primary steel and that has proved to be very challenging environment for a lot of the steel producers,” he said.
“Our business in Australia is performing well in terms of the demand. It is making most of the construction steel in Australia. So I think it is important to make the disparity between different markets but in terms of global steel producers’ performance. They are suffering because of raw material prices more than demand,” he added.