Mr Gupta Withdraws from British Parliament’s BEISC Hearing
The Telegraf reported that GFG Alliance’s Chairman Mr Sanjeev Gupta has withdrawn from a UK parliamentary committee this week that he had hoped to use to mount a public defence of his business dealings. After taking legal advice, Mr Gupta has informed the committee he cannot speak out because of the ongoing investigations into his empire and the commercial sensitivities, given that he is trying to sell some of his assets. GFG said “It had been Mr Gupta’s strong desire to give evidence. However, following legal advice, he has recognised that efforts to provide useful oral evidence to the committee at this stage are likely to cause more frustration to its inquiries than benefit, given the concurrency of the SFO’s work.”
Lawyers to GFG also curtailed the evidence given to the committee by King & King, the small firm that audits dozens of Gupta’s companies. Mr Milan Patel, a partner at the firm, refused to answer questions about GFG at a hearing earlier this week, citing a letter from its lawyers on June 25 instructing him not to divulge confidential client information.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee is holding an inquiry into Liberty Steel and the Future of the UK Steel Industry. The business select committee had lined up the entrepreneur to quiz him about how he rapidly built up his vast GFG Alliance, which boasts USD 20 billion of annual revenues that is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. MPs had hoped to grill the industrialist on what former British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron has described as the symbiotic relationship between GFG and Greensill Capital, one of its main lenders, which went into administration in March.
The SFO is currently investigating fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering at GFG including its financing arrangements with Greensill. GFG has said it will co-operate with the probe.
GFG is in the middle of a restructuring to try and put its businesses on a firmer footing and enable it to repay creditors. The loose conglomerate of companies, which includes Liberty Steel, employs 35,000 people at metalworks stretching from Wales to Australia.