GFG Alliance Boss Mr Sanjeev Gupta Assures UK Unions
GFG Alliance boss Mr Sanjeev Gupta in crisis talks with unions concerned for Liberty's future after specialist bank Greensill Capital went into administration
GFG Alliance boss Mr Sanjeev Gupta in crisis talks with unions concerned for Liberty's future after specialist bank Greensill Capital went into administration said that the collapse of its main financial backer creates a challenging situation. Mr Gupta said "We have adequate funding for our current needs while we bridge the gap to refinancing the business. GFG Alliance as a whole is operationally strong and benefiting from a 13 year high in steel prices. Through our global efficiency drive we’ve improved our operations’ margins with most of our major businesses generating positive cash flows. As part of the prudent steps we are taking to manage cash, we are discussing new opportunities with customers and suppliers to improve cash flow. Securing alternative long-term funding is progressing well, but would take some time to organise. We had been preparing to refinance the business to diversify away from Greensill and broaden our capital base. We are working on securing working capital facilities to support Liberty and bridge the funding gap while refinancing took place. While this takes place we have asked all of our businesses to manage cash carefully.”
Mr Gupta also said “There are some exceptions and I'm sorry to say that includes some of our UK steel businesses. Demand for some products had fallen as much as 60% during the pandemic following the severe downturn in the aerospace sector due to Covid-19.”
Representatives for the National Trade Union Steel Co ordinating Committee, comprising of Community, Unite and GMB, called the meeting with GFG boss Mr Sanjeev Gupta positive and constructive. They said “It is clear Mr Gupta intends to secure a refinancing of the debt to provide the business with the necessary liquidity going forward. We recognise Mr Gupta’s desire to see Liberty Steel succeed, and recognise also his personal contribution in giving distressed UK steel assets a new lease of life. The unions have told Mr Gupta our priority is to secure the future of all Liberty Steel’s UK assets, and to this end all options should be considered. Given the strategic importance of Liberty’s steel operations, and their fundamental importance to delivering the UK’s climate objectives, we believe government must take an active role to facilitate a comprehensive solution that safeguards the future and protect jobs. Following today’s meeting we will meet with our senior representatives from across Liberty Steel UK.”
GFG Alliance has three industry pillars or brands LIBERTY Steel Group, ALVANCE Aluminium Group and SIMEC Energy Group. GFG Alliance’s LIBERTY Steel Group is a global steel and mining company with 30,000 employees in more than 200 locations on four continents. ALVANCE Aluminium Group brings together its assets across the global aluminium supply chain including Europe’s largest aluminium smelter ALVANCE Aluminium Dunkerque, and the UK’s only remaining aluminium smelter at Fort William in Scotland. The GFG Alliance is a fast growing developer and operator of renewable power in the UK and Australia through the SIMEC Group.