Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta to sell seven UK plants employing 1,500 in restructuring

Steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta is selling seven UK plants employing 1,500 people in a restructuring following the collapse of lender Greensill.

They include Liberty Steel’s largest UK site, its aerospace and special alloys business at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, where 762 currently work.

Stocksbridge’s “downstream” sites at Brinsworth, near Rotherham, employing 101, and West Bromwich, which has 167 workers, are also to be offloaded.

Meanwhile, parent company GFG Alliance has begun sale processes for Liberty Aluminium Technologies, and Liberty Pressing Solutions, which together employ 475 people – in Coventry, Kidderminster and Witham, in Essex.

Liberty Steel said the Stocksbridge sale would help it complete its UK restructuring and refinancing and allow it to focus on its plant at Rotherham.

A spokesman declined to add any further comment when asked about the prospects of a sale.

Last month, in a Sky News interview, Mr Gupta promised thousands of UK workers facing uncertainty in the wake of the collapse of its main lender Greensill Capital that he would not shut any of its plants.

Currently, his GFG business empire employs 5,000 people in the UK including 3,000 at Liberty Steel.

Greensill lent billions of pounds to firms including Mr Gupta’s by buying their invoices at a discount.

Investors including clients of Credit Suisse were among those left exposed by the lender’s collapse.

The latest announcement follows talks over the weekend in Dubai involving Mr Gupta and Credit Suisse – which resolved the future if Liberty’s business in Australia as well as “identifying a positive solution” on its UK operations.

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