Steelmaker bullish in the face of claims of financial trouble

Steelmaker bullish in the face of claims of financial trouble

By Michael Upton | 09/03/2021

Steelmaker bullish in the face of claims of financial trouble

LIBERTY Steel – which has 900 employees in Rotherham – has downplayed concerns about its finances following the news a major backer had gone into administration.

 

 

The bank Greensill Capital is understood to have been the main lender to businessman Sanjeev Gupta, whose companies include Liberty.

And court filings were reported by the BBC to have said Mr Gupta's operations were in “financial difficulty” and defaulting on debt.

But Liberty’s owners GFG Alliance said operations were running as usual, although it was in discussions “with financial institutions that can help diversify our funding”.

Liberty owns steel plants across the UK, including at Brinsworth and Aldwarke in Rotherham.

News of Greensill’s problems comes less than nine months after they were approved by the British Business Bank – a move seen as a major boost to Liberty, which had announced 32 job losses in Rotherham last January, with 250 going across Yorkshire.

The company said last July that it had suffered a major fall in demand due to the pandemic and had furloughed hundreds of staff across the country.

A GFG Alliance spokesperson this week said: “Our operations are running as normal and our core businesses continue to benefit from strong market conditions generating robust sales and cash flows.

“Our operational efficiency programme has improved profitability and we are making progress in our discussions with financial institutions that can help diversify our funding.

“We are keeping our employees up to date and will provide further updates as we deliver our plans.”

Steel unions Community and the GMB have been contacted for comment.


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