Former Tata British Steel suitor emerges as Arrium bidder

Image: Andrey Rudakov/Fairfax

Britain’s wealthy Gupta family is reportedly interested in Arrium’s steel and iron assets.

The Australian reports that the Guptas’ Liberty House has submitted a bid for Arrium’s assets, which are being sold as Arrium Australia, separately from Moly-Cop.

Liberty is run by Sanjeev Gupta, and it had previously attempted to acquire Tata’s British Steel assets prior to Brexit.

The article notes that the Guptas’ plan would be to invest in Arrium Australia to produce higher-grade ores and better quality steel at the Whyalla factory, which is forecast to lose $11 million next financial year, down from a previous $43 million loss.

According to a BBC profile from April, Sanjeev Gupta founded Liberty while studying economics at Cambridge University. It has revenues of 3.5 billion pounds and offices in London, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Mark Mentha of administrators KordaMentha last week said there were “quite a few” bidders who wants to keep Arrium Australia whole. This is the “strong preference” of the administrators.

The sale is being run by Morgan Stanley, and separately from the Moly-Cop mining consumables business, which appears likely to float on the ASX.

Arrium went into administration in April, owing $4 billion.

 

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