METALS tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance is considering selling its Clydebridge site, one of the two steel mills it acquired about seven years ago.
The family-owned business group bought the mothballed steel plants at Clydebridge and Dalzell in a Scottish government-backed deal in 2016. Scottish Enterprises funded the takeover with a £7 million loan to GFG as the government looked to revive the steel industry. Both plants were previously owned by India’s Tata Steel.
It was reported earlier this year that GFG was paying interest on the loan regularly although the principal was yet to be repaid.
Now the group is “marketing” the Clydebridge site in South Lanarkshire “for a possible sale” to strengthen the other plant at Dalzell, assuring that the move won’t result in job losses.
“Following a review of commercial options, GFG Alliance has decided to market the site at Clydebridge for possible sale,” the company told the Times, adding that “no jobs will be affected.”
“We are working closely with Scottish Enterprise to ensure this decision will allow GFG Alliance to bolster its Dalzell site, protecting production and employment at Scotland’s last remaining steel mill.”
The government, which is believed to have suggested possible buyers to Gupta, however, said the sale of the Clydebridge site “is a matter for the business to consider.”
In 2016, the government also helped Gupta take over Lochaber aluminium smelter near Fort William by providing £500 million loan guarantees for power supplies to the facility.
Gupta was once regarded as the saviour of the UK’s steel industry but the collapse of his main financial backer Greensill Capital in 2021 hit his business empire.
His group faced investigation in the UK and France but it denied any wrongdoing.
GFG, comprising Liberty Steel, Simec Energy and Alvance Aluminium has operations in 35 countries, with a total employee count of about 35,000.