UK-based Liberty eyes first acquisition in UAE, says Gupta

Gupta may look at oil pipeline manufacturing base in the country
UK-based Liberty eyes first acquisition in UAE, says Gupta
UK-based Liberty House Group is in talks to acquire a steel-related business in the UAE, company executive chairman has said. (ITP Images)
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Sun 12 Feb 2017 09:44 AM

UK-based Liberty House Group is in talks to acquire a steel-related business in the UAE, company executive chairman has said.

“We are extensively discussing the [acquisition] issue in the UAE. The business is related to steel as we see there are ‘good prospects in downstream steel’ in the country,” company executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta told Arabian Business. No further details were given.

At present, Liberty operates in the UAE through Liberty Building Solutions, selling tubular products in the region, but is looking to start “manufacturing” activity.

“We plan to offer full building solutions, not just selling tubing products here. At the moment, it’s a warehouse, but eventually, we may look at production such as blending, cutting, adding switchgear and making a building solution,” he said.

Gupta said that they are also planning to get into oil and gas pipeline businesses as part of their steel business.

“That is something which will happen in this region, though initially it will start in the UK and the US. We will sell the product in the Middle East and may look at possible production, going forward,” Gupta added.

While a part of the financial arm of Liberty - Wyelands Bank – is likely to be listed on London Stock Exchange in 2018, Gupta revealed any initial public offering of the steel business will be in the US as “valuations are more appealing”.

In the past one year, the company has spent $629 million (AED2.31 billion) on buying industrial businesses which includes Rio Tinto’s aluminium smelting plant in Scotland; Tubular Solutions in West Midlands, UK, and soon-to-be bought Tata Steel’s specialty steel unit in Rotherham, Northern England.

Liberty House Group is part of the GFG Alliance, a conglomerate created with his father, Parduman Gupta. The alliance has a global turnover of $6.7bn (AED24.59bn) and net assets of $1bn (AED3.67bn).

Read detail story: Man of steel: Sanjeev Gupta

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