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Commodities group GFG sees IPOs as next step for its businesses

Commodities group GFG sees IPOs as next step for its businesses
FILE PHOTO: Liberty Steel's Sanjeev Gupta outside the newly acquired Liberty Steel processing mill in Dalzell, Scotland, Britain April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo -
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LONDON (Reuters) - Commodities conglomerate Gupta Family Group (GFG) is assessing all parts of its business for possible stock market flotations and could make its first moves this year, Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta told Reuters this week.

UK-based GFG is an umbrella group for the Gupta family’s investments in commodities trading, mining, metals manufacturing and power generation operations.

It has grown rapidly from its roots as a metals trader through the acquisition of often troubled metals manufacturing facilities in several countries from the United States to Australia.

Gupta said the group had managed to turn around the acquired assets and that stock market listings were the logical next step for some of the businesses as it would help improve transparency and governance and generate money to fund growth.

“The group is interested in entering public markets generally and it’s assessing all its business to see which ones are most ready for stock markets,” he told Reuters.

“The intention is to do it as soon as possible. Our hope is that we will take our first steps in this space this year.”

GFG does not publish group accounts but Liberty House Group Pte Ltd, which owns the core commodities trading operations and UK manufacturing plants, reported revenues of $7.86 billion (£6.03 billion) in the year to the end of March 2018, up from $6.66 billion a year earlier.

Profit before tax was $76.1 million in the 2017-18 year, up from $61.0 million a year earlier, according to accounts provided to Reuters.

GFG said in January that it had appointed Credit Suisse to help it plan an initial public offering of Liberty Steel USA, which had just completed the purchase of Dallas-based Keystone Consolidated Industries, for $320 million from Contran Corporation.

A group spokesman told Reuters in November that it was also mulling an IPO of at least part of Liberty’s Australian business.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai and Maytaal Angel; editing by Jane Merriman)

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