Caparo Industries, a part of Lord Swraj Paul’s global business empire, is cutting 452 jobs from its steel plants across the UK after going into partial administration earlier this month, PricewaterhouseCoopers said today.
Most of the jobs, around 300 of the total 1,700 workforce, are being lost at plants in the West Midlands, with other losses at sites in Hartlepool, Wrexham and Tredegar, PwC – the administrator for the steel giant – said.
PwC said the redundancies would take immediate effect, with a number of sites already closed.
On October 19, Caparo Industries went into partial administration, having been hit by the crisis that has gripped UK’s steel sector.
A total of 16 companies, which form part of Caparo Industries dealing in steel and associated engineering businesses, went into partial administration, a process that is an alternative to liquidation.
Unions have said cheap steel imports may be responsible for Caparo’s financial problems, the BBC reported.
A team of administrators, partners and directors from PwC were appointed joint administrators over the 16 companies but all other business interests of Caparo were unaffected, a statement from PwC had earlier said.
The Joint Administrators’ team from PwC will rapidly take control of the 16 companies.
UK’s steel sector is reeling under a series of blows and Paul’s company is said to be a victim to combination of cheap imports of Chinese steel depressing prices, high energy costs and onerous taxes.
Caparo Industries, which comprises about 20 individual businesses, is part of a global network under the Caparo name with operations in China, India and the US. In addition to steel, Caparo’s global business is also involved in product development, hotels, media, furniture and interior design, financial services, energy and private equity investment.
Paul is one of Britain’s 50 wealthiest people with a fortune estimated at two billion pounds. He holds a large stake in Caparo Industries through its parent company, Caparo Group.