UK Government Says Nationalisation an Option for Liberty Steel
BBC reported that the UK government, after rejecting request for GBP 170 million in financial support, has restated that it is considering all options to
BBC reported that the UK government, after rejecting request for GBP 170 million in financial support, has restated that it is considering all options to keep Liberty Steel's UK plants and jobs afloat, including nationalisation. UK’s Business Secretary Mr Kwasi Kwarteng told the BBC “Liberty Steel is an important national asset but that the structure of its owner Mr Gupta Family Group is very opaque and not helpful. We are custodians of taxpayer's money and we feel that if we gave the money, there was no guarantee that the money would stay in the UK and would protect British jobs. But all options are on the table to keep Liberty Steel jobs and plants going, including nationalisation. We think that the steel industry has a future in the UK. The UK's industrial decarbonisation strategy means the government wants to see clean steel produced. Electric arc furnace-produced steel of the kind that Liberty makes, we think that has a future in the UK.”
Mr Kwarteng said he wanted to see Mr Gupta's plans work through before the government took any further action.
Liberty Steel's founder Mr Sanjeev Gupta is trying to refinance GFG after its key financial backer Greensill Capital filed for insolvency earlier this month. GFG Alliance said “Most of its businesses around the world are performing well and generating positive cash flow, supported by the operational improvements we've made and strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets. We are taking prudent steps across our global portfolio to manage resources while we try to negotiate a formal standstill agreement with Greensill's administrators and refinance the businesses. "In the UK, GFG Alliance has invested significantly to rescue steel and aluminium plants saving thousands of jobs in industrial communities across the United Kingdom that would have otherwise been lost."
There are about 3,000 staff directly employed at Liberty's UK sites, which include Rotherham, Motherwell and Newport, and a further 2,000 jobs at GFG Alliance in the UK.