GFG Alliance has embarked on its €2bn investment programme in France by submitting a €419mn binding offer for Rio Tinto's aluminium plant in Dunkerque.
The firm, which is owned by billionaire industrial magnate Sanjeev Gupta, plans to overhaul the site in the northern French city, which currently employs 570 workers, in order to serve the growing demand from European vehicle producers.
Aluminium content in vehicles manufactured on the continent in expected to rise by more than a quarter by 2024, with trends leaning towards lighter components to help lower carbon emissions.
Rio Tinto believes the site will benefit from long-term investment as it looks to streamline its own portfolio, while Gupta was positive about the potential of the plant for his Liberty House industrial business.
"Aluminium Dunkerque has a high-quality aluminium operation benefitting from a top-class workforce and management. This will be our key strength when embarking on our ambitious plans," he said in a statement.
"Subject to the outcome of the consultation process we look forward to welcoming the team and local community into the global GFG family on completion of the sale."
GFG Alliance is also deep in negotiations to acquire Asco Industries, the French steelmaker which employs 1,500 people at six sites across the country.