London: Britain-based Indian tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has said his Liberty House group is evaluating a bid for other UK assets of the troubled Tata Steel after completing the acquisition of the firm’s loss-making plants in Scotland.
Mr Gupta was speaking as his firm completed the acquisition of former Tata Steel plate-making facilities at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on Thursday.
The deal involved a back-to-back transaction in which the Scottish government acquired the two plants from Tata Steel and immediately sold them to Liberty House.
The agreement to save the two plants was completed on March 24 and in coming months Liberty expects to create around 150 new jobs to get the plants up and running again.
“We’re very grateful for the valuable support of the Scottish government and the trade unions in concluding this deal. Our team are continuing to evaluate the opportunity to make a bid for other Tata UK assets,” said Mr Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House.
“We’re very pleased to announce that we have completed the deal to acquire Tata’s plate mills in Scotland and we now look forward to continuing to work with local management and the workforce to re-build these great businesses in the months ahead,” he said.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said the government was “grateful to Liberty” to take up this “exciting opportunity in Scotland and for the energetic and speedy manner in which they worked with the Scottish government to help save these jobs”.
“It has been a team effort which has paid off and once again the steelworkers of Scotland will produce world class products from Lanarkshire,” Scottish business minister Fergus Ewing said.
Wales-based Mr Gupta’s family firm Liberty House and a possible management buyout are so far the publicly declared parties keen on acquiring Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks in Wales, which went up for sale last month after the Indian giant announced plans to exit the UK market.
Mr Gupta, a Punjab-born graduate from Cambridge University, is being dubbed as the UK’s new “man of steel” after he emerged as a potential saviour of jobs at Tata Steel’s Welsh units, which went up for sale last month. (Also read: The man who says Tata’s UK steel assets can be saved)
Founded in 1992, the group has turnover approaching $7 billion with net assets of $1 billion.