Sanjeev Gupta (born September 1971) is an Indian-born British businessman, and the founder of Liberty House Group.[1] He is the CEO and chairman of GFG Alliance which employs more than 35,000 people and annual revenue of US$20 billion.[2]

Early life

Gupta was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India,[3] the third of four children of Parduman K Gupta[4] who founded the SIMEC Group. Both his father and grandfather were industrialists and businessmen. At age 13 he was enrolled at St Edmund's School, Canterbury, UK as a boarder.[5] After completing his A-levels he spent his gap year selling bicycles in Turkey for his father[6] before enrolling to study Economics at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] It is there that in February 1992 he founded the Liberty House Group. When the business was generating £1m a day, he switched to economics with management, a move which he claims freed up time to work on the business.[5]

Career

Trading roots

Initially, Liberty House traded steel, rice, sugar, FMCG, engineering and other goods[4] as a part of the family business but it soon diversified into specific commodities and brought together the trading business under three categories—steel, chemicals, and agriculture.[4] In 2009, it entered steel making, buying plants in Africa.[7] A year later in 2010, it was in Asia, setting up the regional headquarters in Singapore and a hub in Hong Kong in 2012 to focus on China.[citation needed]

Industrial expansion

In 2013, Liberty House Group entered the UK through the purchase of Mir Steel UK (previously Aphasteel),[8] a steel mill in Newport, South Wales, stopping it from being shut down. The business was formally re-launched as Liberty Steel Newport in October 2015.[9] In the two and a half years leading up to the re-opening Gupta kept the entire 150 people workforce[10] on half-pay while he tried to get the mothballed site operating again.[8] Liberty Steel Newport produces hot rolled coil (HRC) for the following industries: construction, automotive, pipes and tubes, structural hollow sections, highway, yellow goods, materials-handling and power.[11]

In November[12] and December 2015[13] Gupta purchased from administration the UK assets and business of the former Caparo Industries Plc, saving over 1,000 jobs primarily in the West Midlands.

In March 2016 Liberty House reached an agreement for the purchase of the last two previously mothballed steel manufacturing sites in Scotland from Tata Steel UK. The deal, which was brokered by the Scottish Government, was completed on 28 April 2016 when Liberty formally acquired the Clydebridge and Dalzell steel mills. The Dalzell site which manufactures steel plate was re-launched on 28 September 2016 by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.[14]

In April 2016 when Tata Steel UK announced its intention to sell its UK based operations, Gupta launched a daring bid for the business,[15] and launched Liberty House's Greensteel strategy.[16]

In October 2016, Liberty House launched its steel recycling division called Liberty Metals Recycling.[17]

In November 2016, Gupta finalised his purchase of Tungsten Bank, and renamed it Wyelands Bank, after the country house estate Wyelands he owns near Chepstow.[18][19]

In November 2016 Liberty House entered into exclusive negotiations with Tata Steel UK for the acquisition of its speciality steels business[20] based in West Yorkshire and China. In February 2017 Tata Steel UK and Liberty House signed an agreement on the purchase, and the deal was completed in April 2017.[21] The acquisition saved 1,700 jobs across sites in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Brinsworth, Bolton and Wednesbury.[22]

In December 2016, the Gupta-led GFG Alliance completed the acquisition of Britain's last aluminium smelter at Fort William in Lochaber, along with the hydro-power plants at Kinlochleven and Fort William[23].

In August 2017[24], Gupta acquired the Arrium steel and mining business in Australia, encompassing primary steelmaking, recycling, distribution and iron ore mining.[25] The new business is conducted under the Liberty brand.

In December 2017, Gupta entered the US market by acquiring the Georgetown steelworks[26] and expanded the US presence by acquiring Export Metals in March 2018[27]. At the end of 2018, he purchased Keystone Consolidated Industries[28].

During December 2018, Gupta acquired Aluminium Dunkerque[29], the largest aluminium smelter in Europe. This followed the acquisition of AR Industries[30], a French aluminium wheel manufacturer.

In April 2019, Gupta acquired a second bank which he renamed the Commonwealth Trade Bank[31]. He then doubled the GFG Alliance workforce in July 2019, by acquiring seven steelworks and five service centres across seven countries in continental Europe from Accelor Mittal[32].

In October 2019, Gupta consolidated all his global steel businesses to form Liberty Steel Group, which he announced would aim to be the world's first carbon neutral company by 2030[33]. He extended that target to his aluminium businesses, which he grouped together to form ALVANCE Aluminium Group, which he announced in January 2020[34].

He has been dubbed the man who can save[35] the British steel industry[36] through an approach called Greensteel,[16] and has since been working to apply this model of operation to other countries including Australia[37] and the USA.[38]

Charity

Gupta and his wife Nicola founded the GFG Foundation charity, which was launched in February 2017[39]. The charity aims to develop programmes to develop the skills of young people and boost their employment prospects.

The Foundation expanded to Australia in 2019[40], with its first programme in Whyalla, South Australia[41].

Awards and recognition

In May 2017, Gupta was awarded CEO of the year at the Platts Global Metals Awards in London.[42]

In October 2017, he was awarded "Business Leader of the Year" at the British Asian Achievers Awards 2017.[43]

The HRH Prince of Wales appointed Gupta as an official HRH Ambassador for Industrial Cadets in March 2018[44]. Gupta is also a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO council[45].

Personal life

Gupta's wife Nicola is from Canvey Island, Essex, and was the treasurer of his company.[46] Gupta had kept the relationship secret for seven years before they married in 2008, the family's first cross-cultural marriage.[46][47] Gupta and his wife own Wyelands, a country house estate near Chepstow in Wales and have a residence in Sydney, Australia[48]. They have three children[46][18][19].

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Doshi, Vidhi (6 April 2016). "Sanjeev Gupta: from college dorm deals to UK steel's great hope". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  2. ^ "About Us | GFG Alliance". GFG Alliance. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  3. ^ Ford, Jonathan (8 April 2016). "Sanjeev Gupta – the trader aspiring to be a steel baron". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Balachandran, Manu. "The tycoon from Punjab who swam against the tide to rescue the British steel industry". Quartz. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b Doshi, Vidhi (6 April 2016). "Sanjeev Gupta: from college dorm deals to UK steel's great hope". Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via www.theguardian.com.
  6. ^ Meechan, Brian (12 April 2016). "Who is Sanjeev Gupta?". Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  7. ^ "British industrialist buys 130-year-old Peoria-based steel rod plant". Chronicle Media. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b Meechan, Brian (12 April 2016). "Tata Steel UK sale: Who is Sanjeev Gupta?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  9. ^ Meechan, Brian (16 October 2015). "Steelworks reopens after two years". BBC News. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  10. ^ Meechan, Brian (16 October 2015). "Liberty steelworks in Newport reopens after two years". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Liberty Steel Newport - Liberty House Group". www.libertyhousegroup.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Liberty saves 350 jobs after Caparo steel empire topples". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  13. ^ Kelsey, Chris (11 December 2015). "More steel jobs saved as Guptas buy remaining Caparo businesses". walesonline. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  14. ^ "'Last' Scottish steelworks at Dalzell plant in Motherwell formally reopens". BBC News. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Sanjeev Gupta's firm Liberty to bid for Tata Steel's Port Talbot unit today". The Economic Times. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  16. ^ a b "GREENSTEEL: A brighter future for UK Steel". www.libertyhousegroup.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Liberty Group targets UK scrap metal market - letsrecycle.com". letsrecycle.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  18. ^ a b Washtell, Francesca (16 November 2016). "Liberty House founder to launch new "industry friendly" UK bank". cityam.com. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  19. ^ a b Tovey, Alan (3 December 2016). "Sanjeev Gupta: the man who sees opportunity in UK industry where others don't". Retrieved 22 February 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  20. ^ Ruddick, Graham (28 November 2016). "Tata to sell UK speciality steels business in £100m deal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  21. ^ Monaghan, Angela (2 May 2017). "Tata deal with Liberty House saves 1,700 UK steel jobs". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  22. ^ Monaghan, Angela (2 May 2017). "Tata deal with Liberty House saves 1,700 UK steel jobs". Retrieved 8 December 2017 – via www.theguardian.com.
  23. ^ "Major investment for Highlands smelter". BBC News. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  24. ^ Gaur, Vatsala (31 August 2017). "GFG Alliance completes acquisition of Arrium". The Economic Times. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  25. ^ Khama Reid and Annabelle Regan (1 September 2017). "Whyalla steelworks deal signed, with big investment promised". ABC News. Retrieved 9 October 2017.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  26. ^ dwren@postandcourier.com, David Wren. "London-based Liberty House completes acquisition of Georgetown's steel mill". Post and Courier. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  27. ^ "GFG Alliance may buy more US metals assets this week". www.argusmedia.com. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  28. ^ "Industrialist Sanjeev Gupta buys U.S.-based KCI for $320 million". Reuters. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  29. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". www.ft.com. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Arcelor Mittal Galati completes acquisition of Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe's largest aluminium smelter". Business Review (in Romanian). 17 December 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Sanjeev Gupta launches Commonwealth Trade Bank with one eye on Brexit". CityAM. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  32. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". www.ft.com. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Subscribe to read | Financial Times". www.ft.com. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  34. ^ Reuters, Contributor Eric Onstad. "GFG Alliance to group aluminium assets into new firm based in Paris". www.nasdaq.com. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  35. ^ qz.com, Manu Balachandran. "UK's 'Man of Steel': A tycoon from Punjab swam against the tide to rescue British steel industry". Scroll.in. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  36. ^ "Is this the man who can save Britain's steel industry?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  37. ^ "The Australian". 20 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Liberty House to buy ArcelorMittal's U.S. Georgetown steel plant". Reuters. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  39. ^ Media, Insider. "Gupta to launch skills foundation". Insider Media Ltd. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  40. ^ Mayfield, Louis (9 March 2018). "Gupta heads cadet program". Whyalla News. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  41. ^ Mayfield, Louis (9 August 2019). "Foundation for the future | PHOTOS". Whyalla News. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  42. ^ "Platts 2017 Global Metals Awards--Winners". gma.platts.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  43. ^ "Sanjeev Gupta awarded "Business Leader of the Year" at the British Asian Achievers Awards 2017". www.libertyhousegroup.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  44. ^ "Prince Charles appoints Indian-origin steel tycoon as UK skills ambassador". The Economic Times. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  45. ^ "Members". WSJ CEO Council. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  46. ^ a b c Meechan, Brian (12 April 2016). "Who is Sanjeev Gupta?". Retrieved 22 February 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  47. ^ "Putting the steel back into British industry". independent.co.uk. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  48. ^ "Sanjeev Gupta buys Potts Point trophy home". Australian Financial Review. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2020.

External links