The Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta has criticised creditors pushing to wind up his business, saying they are risking “tens of thousands” of jobs with “dangerous and cavalier behaviour”.
Gupta’s GFG Alliance, the parent company of Liberty Steel, is being pursued in court in the UK and Australia by Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse is trying to recoup money from the collapsed Greensill Capital, the financial firm that extended as much as $5bn (£3.6bn) in loans to GFG.
Although Credit Suisse was not named in the article, Gupta said he was prepared to defend claims against his businesses in court if necessary.
I am concerned that short-term, aggressive tactics by some of Greensill’s creditors are threatening tens of thousands of long-term jobs here in the UK and elsewhere.
These creditors are at risk of destroying their own chance of recouping value by taking these knee-jerk actions. They undermine profitable businesses and ultimately put at risk thousands of skilled, industrial jobs in communities with limited alternative employment opportunities.
GFG’s collection of steel, aluminium and energy businesses employ 35,000 people worldwide, with 5,000 in the UK – about 3,000 of which are in Liberty Steel.
Gupta said the business’s greatest challenges were in the UK because of its reliance on the aerospace and automotive markets, where demand has fallen during the pandemic.
He also pledged to overhaul the way his businesses are financed. Gupta has been scrambling to find new lenders since Greensill collapsed, but has so far not secured any backing.
Credit Suisse declined to comment.
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