Private equity fund GSOL is expanding its ferronickel business

Private equity fund GSOL is expanding its ferronickel business

According to an article published by Reuters, during a conversation with one of its executives, the private equity fund GSOL has grown in five years to be the world’s second biggest producer of stainless steel ingredient ferronickel, and it is holding talks about further potential acquisitions.

As denoted by Marcos Camhis, the Global Special Opportunities Ltd (GSOL) fund aims to boost its output of 50,000 tonnes a year of ferronickel both by expanding its current two operations and potential new takeovers.

“We are in the quest for additional projects in the nickel space, both in terms of ferronickel industrial assets, and also in terms of undeveloped greenfield projects in mining,” stated Camhis, the director of GSOL, in the Reuters interview this week.

“Active discussions are in place, with four or five different projects, some very preliminary others more advanced,” Camhis said, adding that all of the assets were still under consideration.

Since 2015, GSOL has revived the Falcondo operation in the Dominican Republic, which it bought from Glencore, and reopened the ferronickel plant in North Macedonia.

At Falcondo, where output had been suspended by Glencore, GSOL-backed Americano Nickel restarted one production line in 2016 and a second in 2018 and has now ramped up to around 30,000 tonnes a year of nickel contained in ferronickel.

The other operation, named Euronickel Industries, is now producing around 20,000 tonnes, after GSOL acquired it last year and invested 100 million euros ($111 million).

“Euronickel has completed one of the largest foreign investments in North Macedonia, on time and within budget, during what has been a transformative year. Euronickel has secured the jobs of over 1,000 people from the region around the plant. As a result of the investments made by GSOL, Euronickel is both a European leader and a meaningful producer in the global ferronickel market”, Camhis told local media.

“There’s certainly room to grow our existing assets with further capex to reduce costs and increase production”, Camhis said.

GSOL has grown to be the world’s second biggest ferronickel producer after Eramet SA and ahead of third-ranking SNNC/ Posco./ibna

 

Camhis has previous experience in the asset management of CMA, which had $3 billion of assets when it was sold to Swiss bank EFG International in 2006. He then founded Geneva-based FOS Asset Management, which acts as the investment adviser to GSOL.