Rio Tinto plans to sell its Aluminium Dunkerque smelter in France to industrial and metals company Liberty House Group for $US500 million ($A700 million).
The group has also approached Rio to buy its Australasian aluminium smelting unit, sources say. It said the estimated total aluminium content in European-made cars will rise to 4.3m tonnes from 3.3m tonnes a year by 2024. "Our detailed analysis leads us to believe that Dunkerque is the best location to drive forward our downstream automotive strategy".
"Aluminium Dunkerque has a high-quality aluminium operation benefiting from a top-class workforce and management".
"We want to develop the plant into an global centre of aluminium and downstream aluminium products expertise, demonstrating our GREENALUMINIUM strategy".
Last year, the privately-owned GFG Alliance struck a deal with UK-based tidalpower firm Atlantis Resources to form a listed company, SIMEC Atlantis Energy, that marked Gupta's first step onto the stock market.
In a nod to economic policies pursued by French President Emmanuel Macron's government, Gupta said: "We are particularly attracted by the pro-business environment that President Macron's France is quickly building".
Image: The Dunkerque aluminum smelter in Dunkirk, France.
The proposal received from Liberty House, which acquired Rio Tinto's Lochaber Smelter and assets in Scotland in December 2016, includes plans for the modernisation of the site.