Thursday, December 2News That Matters

SFO investigating Gupta business empire including Greensill finance links

The Serious Fraud Office has said it is investigating steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s business empire – including links with Greensill Capital.

The SFO said in a statement said it was looking into “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)”.

It said the investigation included GFG’s financing arrangements with Greensill Capital, the lender led by Lex Greensill which collapsed earlier this year.

Lex Greensill
Image: Lex Greensill’s business collapsed earlier this year

GFG said in a statement that it would cooperate fully with the investigation.

The announcement comes a day after former prime minister David Cameron faced intense scrutiny by MPs over his lobbying on behalf of Greensill over access to a Bank of England emergency business support scheme set up at the onset of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance controls Liberty Steel, whose 3,000 UK workers have been facing uncertainty since Greensill’s demise.

Last month the tycoon pledged in a Sky News interview that, on his watch, none of his steel plants would close.

More from Business

Separately, the Financial Conduct Authority said earlier this week that it was investigating the UK operations of Greensill.

A GFG Alliance spokesperson said: “GFG Alliance will co-operate fully with the investigation.

Liberty Steel plant Rotherham 25/3/21
Image: Workers at Liberty Steel have been facing uncertainty since Greensill’s collapse

“As these matters are the subject of an SFO investigation we cannot make any further comment.

“GFG Alliance continues to serve its customers around the world and is making progress in the refinancing of its operations which are benefiting from the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminium and iron ore markets.”

GFG is a global network of hundreds of privately-held companies with interests spanning steel, aluminium, mining, financial services and real estate.

Its employees number 35,000 and has annual revenues of $20bn.