Sanjeev Gupta plans to integrate ABB into Liberty’s operations.
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
COMMODITIES tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has acquired the troubled steel bar supplier Aartee Bright Bar (ABB) by purchasing Aartee Group Pte Limited.
The Singapore-headquartered Aartee Group has an indirect stake in ABB and its sister firm Aartee Bright Bar Property Limited both of which collapsed into insolvency.
Alvarez & Marsal was appointed administrator to the two companies on February 6 after their main lender FGI Worldwide decided to pursue insolvency of the businesses.
ABB is a major customer for the bar products produced in Rotherham by Liberty Steel, an arm of GFG.
Gupta plans to integrate ABB into Liberty’s operations.
Following the acquisition, GFG said in a statement on Friday (17) that it provided funding to cover the wages of ABB workers for four weeks to “prevent a reduction in jobs expected under the administration.”
GFG said it challenged the administration and its efforts were backed by a majority of business creditors.
It also seeks to restart ABB’s operations and communicate directly with ABB employees “when conditions allow”.
GFG’s chief transformation officer Jeffrey Kabel said the “rescue plan would save 250 viable steel jobs in the West Midlands and across the UK.”
The acquisition comes amid reports that Gupta is locked in a legal battle with a German property developer over unpaid rent and service charges for his London headquarters.
Patrizia filed a lawsuit against Gupta’s metal trading business Liberty Commodities Ltd asking it to honour a 10-year contract for the second floor of 40 Grosvenor Place, near Buckingham Palace.
In a court filing reported by The Times, Patrizia’s subsidiary NPS (40GP) Ltd, claimed Liberty owed £4 million in unpaid rent, service charges and other fees.
Liberty, which signed a 10-year lease in 2019 for the offices at an annual rent of £3.1 million said last month that Patrizia had forfeited the lease in April last year. Liberty has accepted it owes arrears but disputed the amount claimed by Patrizia.
When contacted, a Liberty spokeswoman told Eastern Eye that the group had no comment to offer on the matter.