Liberty Steel offers UK plant and infrastructure for sale

London (awp / dpa) – Liberty Steel, which collects the steel activities of British businessman Sanjeev Gupta, has announced a restructuring and listing of a plant and other infrastructure in the UK after the difficulties it has faced since the bankruptcy of Greensill Financial.

“As part of this restructuring, Liberty wants to sell its alloy and aerial steel business to Stocksbridge,” in northern England, “unique and high-quality assets” but considered “non-strategic,” the group explains.

“An official sale (of infrastructure) from Stocksbridge,” and elsewhere, to Brinsworth and West Bromwich, also in the north of England, will be launched “soon”, he adds.

The press release announced an “agreement” regarding Liberty’s primary metals business in Australia “while the refinancing process which will pay Credit Suisse in full ends”.

The group also specifies that it has “already started an official sale” of Liberty Aluminum Technologies and Liberty Pressing Solutions, two other plants in England.

Liberty, a subsidiary of GFG Alliance, the family holding company of Sanjeev Gupta, explains that it held “very constructive meetings this weekend in Dubai” between Sanjeev Gupta, its new restructuring and transformation committee, and Credit Suisse Asset Management.

Credit Suisse was one of Greensel’s largest creditors, ahead of Japan’s Softbank, and now turns into GFG and Liberty, who owe the bankrupt financial company in billions of pounds.

The Swiss bank was exposed to nearly $ 10 billion in exposure through four funds on behalf of investors in which it placed debt securities issued by Greensel.

Since the fall of Greensel, the empire of British Indian businessman Sanjeev Gupta has desperately sought new money to avoid factory closures in his Liberty Steel arm.

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A source familiar with the matter told AFP in early May that UK-based Liberty Steel was close to concluding a £ 200m loan with investment firm White Oak.

The government refused to loan him the money, citing the “opaque” nature of GFG.

As a sign of his difficulties, he decided not to fund Waylands Bank, which belongs to his group. This bank has paid off almost all of its customers and is looking for buyers, otherwise it will be liquidated.

Last week, the Financial Times said British Steel and parent company Jingyi Group would be interested in acquiring Gupta steel plants.

GFG employs about 5,000 people in the UK and 35,000 worldwide, with Ascoval locations in France in Saint-Saulve (north) and Hayange Railroad Factory (Moselle), which Liberty Steel is now looking to sell.

In addition to its funding woes, the GFG Alliance is under investigation by the Financial Crime Office (SFO), equivalent to the Financial Prosecutor, for suspicion of fraud, fraudulent trade, and money laundering at the GFG, particularly its financial relationships with Greensel.

Greensel is also the subject of investigations into accounting fraud in particular and his funding model has been accused of being closer to hierarchical fraud.

afp / rp

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