Whyalla Saviour White Oak May Rescue Liberty Steel UK Too
The Guardian reported that Mr Sanjeev Gupta is close to securing a GBP 200 million loan for Liberty Steel UK, which would hand a lifeline to Britain’s third largest steel business and help stave off thousands of job losses. It is understood that the billionaire has agreed on financing terms with California-based investment firm White Oak Global Advisers, which is also providing fresh funding for the Australian arm of Gupta’s sprawling holding company, GFG Alliance. If approved, the White Oak loan would allow Liberty Steel UK to return to full production, having intermittently paused operations at some of its plants in an attempt to preserve cash after Greensill’s failure. The prospects of new financing from a private backer could alleviate fears over Liberty Steel’s own collapse. Injection of new money would increase the chances of Liberty's creditors recovering a greater portion of the cash owed to them, as it would potentially allow Liberty to return to full production and therefore benefit from higher steel prices.
However, the White Oak loan is understood to require approval from Credit Suisse, which has a claim on Liberty Steel UK via loans provided by Greensill Capital as well as Tata Steel. The agreement is still subject to further due diligence by the lender and there is no guarantee the loan will materialise.
Liberty Steel’s future has been hanging in the balance since its main lender, Greensill Capital, fell into administration last month, prompting a cash crunch for one of the UK’s largest steel producers. Mr Gupta tried and failed to secure a GBP 170 million UK government bailout in March,