Britain’s Indian-origin steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta today announced 300 new jobs and multi-million- pound investments in a steel division formerly owned by Tata Steel. Gupta’s Liberty House, the industrial and commodities group that is buying up steel assets around the world, said it plans to secure the future of five sites across the north of England and West Midlands as it formally completed its 100- million-pound acquisition of Tata Steel UK’s Speciality Steels division, a deal announced earlier this year. Besides plans to create new jobs, the move protects at least 1,700 existing jobs at three major sites at Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Brinsworth in South Yorkshire, smaller sites in Bolton, Lancashire and Wednesbury in the West Midlands and two distribution centres in China. The acquisition will make Liberty one of the largest steel and engineering employers in the UK, with over 4,500 workers.
“The Speciality Steels business is a global leader in its field, with a highly-skilled and well-motivated workforce and we are eager to invest so it can grow and achieve its full potential. Today marks a step change for the Liberty House Group because we are taking on strategically important capacity that will drive expansion in the years ahead,” Gupta said today. The Liberty House executive chairman, who has been on an acquisition spree in the US recently, said the UK investment is aimed at achieving his global GreenSteel vision of a sustainable future for steel production, which will facilitate investment in engineering products and reduce the supply-chain gaps in the UK, especially in automotive and aerospace sectors.
Speciality Steels produces a range of high-value steels used in the manufacture of vehicles, aircraft, industrial machinery and equipment for the oil and gas industry. Liberty said it plans to invest up to 20 million pounds in new plant and equipment in the first year alone to boost competitiveness and secure international market leadership for the business, which is being relaunched as Liberty Speciality Steels. Production from the arc furnaces is expected to rise to over a million tonnes per annum and there are plans for the bar mill to roll over 400,000 tonnes a year.
The acquisition marks a major step forward for Liberty’s GreenSteel strategy as it gives the group the largest arc furnace capacity in the UK, a key component in its plan to increase low-carbon steel production based on recycling metal in furnaces powered by renewable energy. The Speciality Steels transaction is the latest in a succession of key acquisitions and business turnarounds undertaken by Liberty House, SIMEC and the broader GFG Alliance over the past three years. These have included major metal, energy, engineering, property and financial assets in London, West Midlands, Wales and Scotland.