The Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into the financing of Sanjeev Gupta’s metals empire by Greensill Capital, in a move that will heighten concerns over the future of jobs at Liberty Steel.
The UK’s anti-corruption agency said it suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering related to the financing of Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance, the loose grouping of steel and metals trading companies controlled by Gupta.
It includes its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd, the supply chain finance provider set up by the banker Lex Greensill. Previous court representations have suggested Greensill lent Gupta’s companies as much as $5bn (£3.6bn).
Since Greensill collapsed in March, Gupta has been scrambling to secure finance for various parts of the group of companies. Last week GFG was understood to be nearing a deal for a refinancing of Liberty Steel UK, which employs about 3,000 people.
Gupta’s companies employ another 2,000 people elsewhere in the UK, and as many as 35,000 people worldwide.
In a short statement, the SFO said: “The SFO is investigating suspected fraud, fraudulent trading and money laundering in relation to the financing and conduct of the business of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including its financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd. As this is a live investigation, the SFO can provide no further comment.”
GFG has been approached for comment.
Source: The Guardian