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Bidding For Britain’s Liberty Steel Being Considered By India's JSW Steel: Reports


05/22/2021


Bidding For Britain’s Liberty Steel Being Considered By India's JSW Steel: Reports
According to recent reports quoting sources with knowledge of the matter, a bid to buy Liberty Steel in Britain as well as mills elsewhere is being considered by JSW Steel, the largest steel producer of India.
 
Reports suggested that the expansion plans of JSW also includes Adhunik steel mill in eastern India of entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta and if the deal was made it would mark yet another chapter for Britain's steel industry.
 
The British steel industry has been privatised and sold off to foreign buyers even before the pandemic hit the country as the manufacturing might of the country slid.
 
If the deal goes through, it would also be a continuation of sale of business units of Gupta's sprawling network of businesses which is comprised of hundreds of privately-held companies in multiple sectors including steel, aluminium, mining, financial services and real estate – an empire that has been created over many years through acquisitions,
 
After the British supply chain finance firm Greensill filed for insolvency in March, Gupta has been struggling to get refinance as Greensill was the most preferred financer of Gupta. The business of Gupta and their links to Greensill is being investigated by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the agency had said earlier this month.
 
A deal to purchase Liberty Steel was ridden with obstacles including the navigating the fallout from Brexit and the coronavirus crisis in India, said sources in reports even though the interest for bidding was high for JSW Steel which is a part of the metals to cement conglomerate JSW Group which is controlled by billionaire Sajjan Jindal.
 
Reports quoted pone of the sources as saying that no final decision had been taken about the bidding for the "surprise package". "The due diligence has not yet started. After Brexit, it will not be easy to operate these assets," the source reportedly said.
 
A spokesman for GFG said it "continues to serve its customers around the world and is making progress in the refinancing of its operations which are benefiting from the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets."
 
Gupta had purchased distressed assets in economically-deprived areas and was hailed as the saviour of steel in Britain. His group has 35,000 workers, including 5,000 in Britain, and annual revenues of $20 billion.
 
Political issues will also play a part in any change of ownership of Liberty Steel as it employs about 3,000 people in Britain. There is an expectation that any deal for the business will require ministerial clearance, said Darren Jones, who chairs the UK parliament's business, energy and industrial strategy committee. "Steel production can also be considered to be an important part of our economic resilience and national security," he said.
 
The government said it was "closely monitoring developments around Liberty Steel and continues to engage closely with the company, the broader UK steel industry and trade unions".
 
(Source:www.economictimes.com)