New York-based American Industrial Partners Capital Fund VII LP (AIP) says it has used an affiliated entity to acquire ownership of a recycled-content aluminum rolling mill in Duffel, Belgium, known as Aluminium Duffel.
The acquisition was made via what AIP calls “a consensual purchase and sale of 100 percent of the shares of Aluminium Belgium BV, the parent company [that] owns Aluminium Duffel, by AIP from the owner of those shares, Ecnavla 8 UK Ltd., a United Kingdom-based company.”
“Today marks a major milestone in our company’s history,” says Geert Vannuffelen, general manager of Aluminium Duffel. “We look forward to proceeding under the new ownership of AIP, who is committed to a sustainable future for our company. We are positive about the steps AIP has taken to further invest in the company, which demonstrates their engagement to reach the full potential of our plant.”
Ecnavla 8 UK Ltd. has been in bankruptcy administration in the U.K. since last July, says AIP, with two firms appointed as administrators. AIP's purchase was completed in full compliance with applicable European Union merger regulations, says the equity firm.
Earlier this decade, the Aluminium Duffel plant belonged to the Alvance business unit of the London-based GFG Alliance. GFG has been faced with financial hurdles since the collapse of Greensill Capital in the first quarter of last year.
As a result of its latest transaction, AIP says it is now the legal and beneficial owner of two entities in Belgium: Alvance Aluminium Belgium BV—which operates an aluminum smelter in France—and Alvance Aluminium Duffel BV, which owns and operates Aluminium Duffel along with several other affiliated entities in other countries.
AIP says it intends to continue to operate Aluminium Duffel together with the existing local leadership team and does not anticipate any disruption to normal operations of the business, including for customers, suppliers and employees.
In a 2020 sustainability report produced by Alvance Aluminium Duffel, that entity said it was using 70 percent recycled content to produce up to 250,000 metric tons annually of aluminum in Duffel. “Across the value chain, our greatest opportunity for contributing to a circular economy and reducing our environmental impact is by maximizing the content of scrap in our products,” the company stated at the time regarding its casting and melt shop operations.
AIP describes itself as an operationally oriented private equity firm that has completed more than 100 transactions and currently has more than $8 billion of assets under management. Among its more than 25 portfolio companies are Commonwealth Rolled Products, which operates an aluminum rolling mill in Lewisport, Kentucky, plus the aluminum production assets in France and Belgium.