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MPs issue Grenfell warning over Arconic buyout

Author: Financial Times, Published on: 2 December 2018

British politicians have warned Arconic and its largest shareholder, Elliott Management, that they will oppose a takeover of the company if it does not protect the interests of victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze. Seventy-two people died and 200 households were displaced in the fire..., which was linked to flammable cladding supplied by a subsidiary of Arconic...

A consortium of two private equity investors, Blackstone and The Carlyle Group, has been trying to buy the aluminium products maker, while a third, Apollo Global Management, is working on a solo bid.  Elliott is in discussions with both groups about ways of managing the potential liabilities, according to people with knowledge of the talks...

“[P]roposals in no way contemplate limiting the ability of the company to meet any obligations that may arise from the Grenfell tragedy,” said one of the people... There has been no finding of fault against Arconic... The company has said it did not “control the overall [cladding] system or its compliance [with building regulations]”...

Analysts say a deal for Arconic could be sealed within weeks if investors’ fears about the potential Grenfell liabilities can be overcome. But the UK government this week added to the uncertainty surrounding the scale of those liabilities, by giving local councils the power to strip dangerous cladding from privately owned buildings and bill the owners for the repairs...

The UK government declined to comment on the Arconic deal and Elliott’s efforts to resolve the issue of potential liabilities.

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