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US investment group acquires Metallum

USA / France – First Reserve Corporation, a US-based private equity investor specialising in energy and natural resources, has acquired Metallum Group from French investment firm Alpha Group.

The acquisition deepens First Reserve’s exposure to metals, having previously focused mainly on oil. The company bought more than 80% of Swiss metal recycling and trading firm Metallum Holdings for US$960m (Euro 671m) in equity and debt.

Its recycling affiliate Metallum S.A. is headquartered in Beerse, Belgium. The main activity is the processing of low-grade copper scrap. The company operates from 14 yards and has long-term relationships with around 350 merchants, giving it an estimated 20% share of traded copper volumes in Europe. Metallo is the company’s copper and tin refining business while a separate operating unit, Metallum, is responsible for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap recycling and trading.

Patrick Verschelde, Executive Chairman of Metallum Group said: ‘We welcome the partnership with First Reserve. The firm’s deep knowledge of the energy industry and its strong contacts in the metals sector will be a great asset to us as we look to execute our growth strategy and development plan.’ First Reserve would support a proven management team as it sought to increase capacity and make operational improvements, added Alex Williams, Director of the investment group.

‘Metallum affords First Reserve a unique opportunity to gain exposure to the tight copper market without taking the single asset, geological, development or country risk that is typically associated with a business of this size,’ he said.

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