Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG vows to fund steel producer ABB’s fight against New York bankruptcy case
Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has set out its plan to block steel producer Aartee Bright Bar (ABB) from being forced into bankruptcy.
The conglomerate, which fully acquired the Midlands company last month, said it would ask a court to block New York investment fund FGI from plunging ABB into insolvency.
GFG said its rescue plan would return the Midlands steelmaker to profitability.
Gupta’s steelmaking conglomerate will pledge to financially support ABB into recovery. although a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the sums of money GFG would be willing to provide.
Gupta’s steel firm noted it has already given £620,000 to pay wages owed to the Midlands steelmaker’s staff and given £200m to support its UK businesses over the past 18 months.
GFG’s chief transformation officer Jeffrey Kabel said: ““Our plan for ABB would see jobs protected and provide superior outcomes for its creditors immediately.”
“The administration process at ABB is unjustified, unnecessary and unsupported by a majority of its creditors and employees whose jobs are on the line.”
“We urge creditors, employees and stakeholders to get behind our application to save ABB,” Kabel said.
The conglomerate’s bid to “save” ABB comes after GFG acquired the Midlands steel products manufacturer on 17 February for an undisclosed sum.
ABB is a major buyer of GFG’s steel via the embattled conglomerate’s British subsidiary Liberty Steel UK, which currently nine sites across England, Scotland, and Wales.
GFG now plans to integrate ABB into Liberty Steel itself, with a view to retaining all 250 of the Midlands firm’s employees.
Liberty Steel UK is currently Britain’s third biggest steel manufacturer in employing 3,000 staff throughout the coutnry.
Gupta previously gained a reputation as the savior of Britain’s steel industry following GFG’s purchase of Tata Steel’s Rotherham business in 2017.
The Anglo-Indian steel tycoon has, however, faced mounting scrutiny following the collapse of its major creditor, Greensill in 2021.
Greensill’s collapsed plunged GFG into its own financial difficulties, that in turn saw scrutiny aimed at the opacity of the conglomerate’s business and its heavy reliance on supply chain financing.
The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) later seized documents multiple addresses linked to Liberty Steel in April 2022 after French authorities raided the firm’s offices the day before.