Liberty Steel owner Gupta tells creditors: Don't pull the plug

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LONDON (Reuters) – Liberty Steel owner Sanjeev Gupta said he had huge interest from financiers willing to refinance billions of dollars in debt owed to failed lender Greensill Capital and cautioned creditors against pulling the plug and destroying thousands of jobs.

“Actually we have a huge amount of interest from new financiers who are willing to back us, who are willing to refinance Greensill,” Gupta told the BBC. “Given the situation, this sort of thing takes time and hence we need to find short-term solutions.”

He said it was natural that lenders wanted to protect their position and said there were positive discussions with Grant Thornton, the administrator for Greensill.

“It makes no sense for them or any of the creditors to destroy jobs, but more importantly to destroy value because that is the value which will give them the recovery.”

He said his business owed “many billions” of pounds to Greensill but he expected other financiers to back him.

“It is many billions, but also remember that we are one of the largest steel companies in the world, a very substantial aluminium business, and a substantial renewable energy business so it should be reflected in that light,” Gupta said.

He said no steel plants would close on his watch.

“None of our steel plants under my watch will be shut down.”

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