Sanjeev Gupta’s metals giant GFG Alliance is reportedly carving out a deal with White Oak Global Advisors for the refinancing of his European operations.
The deal, which would circle GFG’s steel mills in Romania and the Czech Republic, could end months of uncertainty for thousands of steelworkers, the Financial Times first reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The US private finance group has already swooped in to offer fresh funding for GFG’s Australian steel plant and mines but talks including other parts of Gupta’s empire have started taking place.
If both parties agree, it could see Gupta’s UK operations also hoisted from uncertainty by White Oak, two people familiar with the talks said.
White Oak had previously offered a £200m loan to GFG’s UK assets which was clawed back after the Serious Fraud Office confirmed its investigation into suspected fraud at Gupta’s metals giant. GFG has denied any wrongdoing throughout the probe.
Gupta’s empire, which also holds Liberty Steel and its 35,000 strong workforce, has endured a turbulent year – grappling with pandemic, alongside the collapse of its primary financial backer Greensill Capital.
Several options are being considered, once source said, but a financing plan for its UK plants could include both White Oak and GFG pumping capital behind the fiscal rescue – with the global commodity price surge painting a rosier picture for Gupta’s metals group.
The financing could see GFG’s Yorkshire steel plants restart production. But Stockbridge, one Yorkshire-based speciality steel plant, is still set to be sold once a buyer is found.
Just last week, White Oak confirmed a $45m financing loan for a fellow metals and commodity giant Alumina. The financing group has the ability to offer capital ranging from $5m to $200m.
A spokesperson for GFG Alliance declined to comment on the deal. City A.M. has contacted White Oak Global Advisors for comment.