Indian-origin tycoon Sanjeev Gupta to bail out another ailing UK plant

Indian-origin tycoon Sanjeev Gupta to bail out another ailing UK plant

Liberty House said the acquisition will support its already vast steel plants network in UK.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta is likely to bail out yet another ailing plant in Britain after he agreed to acquire the UK’s biggest producer of merchant bars that are used in shaping steel products.

As per the deal, Gupta’s Liberty House Group will buy out 100% of the share capital of the Caparo Merchant Bar Plc (CMB) from its managers of Caparo Industries.

The acquisition forms a part of Liberty House’s broader strategy for Britain’s steel industry, with taken over major parts of Tata Steel’s UK business and earlier acquiring a large part of Caparo’s engineering operations when the plants owned by Indian-born business magnate Lord Swraj Paul, went into management in 2015.

“CMB remained solvent despite its parent, Caparo Industries Plc, going into administration in late 2015, and since then the directors of the company have kept the business in profit. However, CMB remained coupled with the Caparo 1988 Pension Scheme, which had the effect of restricting CMBs ability to develop its own financial flexibility. This placed the solvency of the company at risk potentially jeopardising creditors and the pension benefits of its employees," the company said in a statement on Monday.

CMB is based in Scunthorpe, east England and employs 145 employees at two fully-automated rolling plants and also includes an array of steel bars and light divisions for construction, infrastructure, energy, shipbuilding, transport and oil & gas industries.

Liberty House Group further said that the acquisition will support its already extensive steel plants network in Britain and enable it to supply a vast range of steel products to the market.

“This is a business with a long history, a great reputation and a very strong order book. We are confident we can provide it with a secure future for the benefit all stakeholders. I am especially pleased about the prospect of being able to assist the Caparo Industries pension scheme more widely and improve outcomes for many more of its 1,700 members. I am also delighted to welcome today 145 new colleagues to the Liberty family,” said Gupta, Executive Chairman, Liberty House Group.

Since 2015, Liberty House has shifted from just a trading entity to become one of the biggest industrial employers in the UK and owner of the last aluminium smelter of the country.

Recently, the Group concluded the acquisition of the speciality steels business of Tata, which is now became Liberty Speciality Steels and supplies high-value steel to global clients in the sectors of automotive, energy, aerospace and industrial.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jul 04, 2017 12:00 IST