By Eric Onstad
LONDON -The GFG Alliance owned by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has settled disputes with Tata Steel and Rio Tinto, it said on Thursday as it makes progress in refinancing after its main lender collapsed.
Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance has been seeking fresh funding to rescue its cash-starved web of businesses in steel, aluminium and energy after supply chain finance company Greensill filed for insolvency in March.
“It is encouraging that discussions with creditors continue to progress well and our global restructuring plans continue to develop,” Jeffrey Stein, chief restructuring officer, said in a statement.
The deal with Tata brought to an end proceedings launched against several GFG units including Liberty Speciality Steels, GFG said without providing further details.
In 2017 GFG bought Tata’s UK speciality steel business for 100 million pounds ($139.21 million) and its pipe mills for an undisclosed sum.
GFG said it had also settled a dispute with global mining group Rio Tinto over the acquisition of the Dunkirk aluminium smelter in 2018.
Gupta’s family conglomerate GFG paid Rio Tinto $500 million for Europe’s largest aluminium smelter in France in a complex deal that involved borrowing from a syndicate of banks and commodity trader Trafigura, sources have told Reuters.
GFG also said that a previously announced deal with commodities group Glencore to refinance the debt on its aluminium unit would be finalised once it had resolved repayment issues with an unnamed creditor.
GFG had previously said it was planning to use the Glencore facilities to repay debt owed to buyout firm American Industrial Partners.
The group, which has been under a cloud since the UK launched an investigation into suspected fraud and money laundering in mid-May, also said it plans to change its governance structure and increase transparency, including the addition of external independent directors.
($1 = 0.7183 pounds)