ArcelorMittal secured a legal win when Singapore's High Court barred Liberty House Group from moving assets abroad. This ruling follows a €140 million ($154.8 million) compensation claim ArcelorMittal made against Liberty House for a 2019 steel plant sale dea, reports Financial Times.
ArcelorMittal, the steel manufacturing colossus based in Luxembourg, has garnered a favorable judgment from the High Court of Singapore in its legal wranglings with the Liberty House Group. This ruling is a crescendo in a series of legal melodies that began with a deal gone sour in 2019.
Let's trace the roots of this corporate tangle back to 2019. ArcelorMittal sold several steel plants across Romania, the Czech Republic, and other European countries to Liberty Steel Group. Following the sale, there arose a dispute over a deferred compensation, a sum of money to be paid at a later date, resulting in a London arbitration tribunal decreeing a €140 million ($154.8 million) award against Liberty House Group and Liberty Steel East Europe in favor of ArcelorMittal.
Fast forward to the present, and we find the High Court of Singapore issuing a prohibitory order, effectively freezing the transfer of Liberty House Group’s assets outside the country's borders. Such legal maneuvers are strategic, they're designed to keep the assets within reach, ensuring that the aggrieved party, in this case, ArcelorMittal, can collect on its awarded dues.
Sanjeev Gupta, the executive chairman of the GFG Alliance which includes Liberty House, has remarked on the issue. He noted that the dispute has been ongoing since the contested deal in 2019. Gupta also reassured that because the implicated assets are of non-trading companies within the group, this freezing order will not ripple out to affect the business operations, their suppliers, or their customers in any significant way.
The corporate skirmish between ArcelorMittal and Liberty House Group sheds light on the intricate dance between large-scale transactions and legal accountability. It also casts a spotlight on the mechanisms of international arbitration and its role in the enforcement of corporate agreements and resolutions of disputes.
ArcelorMittal's legal victory in Singapore represents a safeguarding of their financial interests, ensuring that the assets of Liberty House Group remain within legal reach for the settlement of the arbitration award. While the executive chairman of the GFG Alliance believes this will not affect their operations, it is a clear signal in the corporate world of the seriousness with which ArcelorMittal is pursuing its claims. It's a case that certainly resonates with the sentiment that in business, contracts are king, and their enforcement spans borders.