Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer in the world, on Thursday announced the signing of a binding sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of German aluminium recycling firm, Leichtmetall Aluminium Giesserei Hannover.

Leichtmetall is a European specialty foundry, with production including hard alloys and larger diameter billets with high proportions of secondary aluminium.

EGA is to acquire 100 per cent of the firm from Leichtmetall Holding, a subsidiary of an investment fund managed by Quantum Capital Partners. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2024, subject to obtaining regulatory approvals.

The transaction is EGA’s first major acquisition since EGA was formed through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium a decade ago.

Leichtmetall uses renewable energy at its plant in Hannover, Germany, to produce up to 30,000 tonnes per year of aluminium billets with secondary aluminium as some 80 per cent of input material.

The company uses proprietary inductive melting technology, liquid metal treatment and casting processes developed over more than four decades to make, from scrap metal, very high quality and specification products used in demanding applications. Leichtmetall’s production mainly consists of hard alloy billets up to 1,150 millimetres in diameter, with uses including manufacturing high load bearing extruded profiles and very large forged components.

Leichtmetall has customers across Europe, and particularly in Germany, Italy and France.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “This acquisition provides EGA a platform to develop a recycling business close to our customers in Europe, contributing to the emerging circular economy and building on our existing position as one of the biggest importers of primary aluminium on that continent. Leichtmetall will grow as part of EGA. The acquisition of Leichtmetall adds significant value to EGA and, alongside the recycling facility we are building in Abu Dhabi, is just the first step for EGA in capturing growth opportunities worldwide in low carbon primary and recycled aluminium, expanding our business and enabling us to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Adel Abubakar, Chief Marketing Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “The acquisition of Leichtmetall greatly enhances our ability to meet European high-end aluminium demand, operationally and commercially, as well as contributing to our carbon emissions reduction aspirations. Leichtmetall and the 170 thousand tonnes per year aluminium recycling facility we are building in the UAE are together a strong combination which will be part of shaping the future EGA, enabling us to support our global customers in meeting their future carbon intensity and properties requirements for their metal.”

Thomas Witte, Chief Executive Officer of Leichtmetall, said: “Becoming part of EGA, the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer in the world, will unlock additional capital and resources for Leichtmetall to grow our business further, continue developing our technology, and strengthen our ability to partner with international customers in Europe and beyond. This transaction is great news for our existing customers and will help us secure new opportunities, while playing a key role in the growth of EGA’s wider recycling business.”

Steffen Görig, Chief Executive Officer of Quantum Capital Partners GmbH (QCP), said: “As a manager of specialty carve-out investment funds, our job is to enable high potential companies like Leichtmetall to develop and prosper. When Leichtmetall came under our wing 10 years ago, it was an overlooked operation with a limited customer base. Under Quantum Capital Partners ownership and Thomas Witte’s extraordinary leadership, Leichtmetall has developed into an innovative, sustainable supplier of speciality products that are highly-valued across multiple industries. Leichtmetall’s slogan is ‘making aluminium stronger’. With this transaction, we are making Leichtmetall stronger, trusting EGA to take the company to the next level.”

Aluminium is infinitely-recyclable. Recycling aluminium requires 95 per cent less energy than making new metal, and results in a fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions of primary aluminium production.

Market analysts expect global demand for recycled aluminium to grow from some 27 million tonnes per year in 2022 to 57 million tonnes in 2040. Recycled aluminium is expected to account for around 60 per cent of the growth in global aluminium supply between now and 2030, and around 70 per cent of supply growth between 2030 and 2040.

EGA currently exports over 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium to Europe each year. EGA is a significant supplier in Europe for industries including automotive and construction.

Last year, EGA announced the start of construction of the UAE’s largest aluminium recycling plant in Al Taweelah with production capacity of 170,000 tonnes per year. The new facility will supply local and global markets with low carbon metal under the product name RevivAL.

EGA was the first company to produce aluminium commercially using solar power, starting in 2021. In 2022, EGA produced 57,000 tonnes of CelestiAL. EGA already sweetens some of CelestiAL with recycled metal in its existing production facilities. BMW Group is the first customer for this metal which is called CelestiAL-R.

EGA has publicly committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in line with the UAE’s Net 50 by 2050 Strategic Initiative. 

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