An Indian-origin family owned steel firm, Liberty House, is said to be a new potential buyer of two of Tata Steel’s Scottish plants, on the verge of closure due to the crisis in the industry.
Liberty House, headed by managing director Sanjeev Gupta, had recently acquired a number of units of another UK-based steel firm, Caparo Industries, owned by noted NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul.
While the company has refused to comment at this stage, Scotland’s business minister has indicated that a potential deal may be in the works for acquiring the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants in Scotland’s Lanarkshire region.
“I met Liberty management last week to outline the range of potential support that would be available from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise should it succeed in a buyout,” minister Fergus Ewing.
“I also emphasised that the Scottish steel taskforce continues to work constructively to ensure a viable future for the plants, with action being taken forward on energy costs, business rates, procurement and on environmental issues,” added Ewing, who will be heading a meeting of the steel taskforce today to work out the details of a potential deal.
The two plants were believed to be part of another potential deal being discussed between Indian steel giant Tata Steel and London-based private equity firm Greybull Capital.
But steel unions have expressed concerns that the two Scottish plants may not necessarily be part of the final package, making Liberty’s interest a renewed hope for the 270 workers employed by the two plants.
The news comes as media reports indicated that Tata Steel is edging closer to a deal with Greybull Capital to acquire its long products division, which mainly includes a plant atScunthorpein east England.
The British steel industry has been undergoing turmoil as a result of cheap Chinese imports and a collapse in steel prices.