By Maytaal Angel
LONDON May 4 The founder and chairman of
Liberty House, the industrials and commodities group that has
been snapping up troubled steel plants around the world, plans
to list some of its multibillion-dollar businesses, probably in
Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House, which operates together with
energy and commodities business SIMEC under the $9.4 billion
Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance, hit the headlines last year
when it offered to rescue steel plants owned by Tata Steel UK
(TISC.NS> that were on the verge of shutdown.
Liberty has since bought an aluminium smelter in Scotland
and a steel plant in the United States. It is also bidding for
Australian steel producer Arrium, U.S. iron ore processor Mesabi
Metallics and is considering a stake in a troubled steel plant
based in Piombino, Italy, owned by Algeria's Cevital Group.
"(Listing) will happen sooner or later for sure ... 2018 is
a soft target," Sanjeev Gupta told Reuters on the sidelines of
the CRU World Aluminium Conference in London.
"We want at least one if not more of the businesses to be in
the public space, like energy for example, maybe steel
eventually, but I'm not sure the UK is the right place for it,
maybe the U.S."
Gupta has previously told Reuters he was considering a
partial public listing in London but that a firm decision had
yet to be made.
He explained on Thursday that the energy business listing
would probably be in London, but not steel.
Liberty and SIMEC's assets span steelmaking, aluminium
smelting, engineering, renewable and non-renewable energy
facilities, commodities trading, shipping, property and even
Gupta, who was bullish on steel even during the crisis in
2015, said there are still distressed plants that offer value,
even though steel equities <.TRXFLDGLPUSTEL > globally have
risen by 80 percent since early January 2015.
His so-called green metal model is based on using renewable
energy to fire up furnaces and smelters that recycle locally
sourced scrap and feed the finished metal to manufacturing
businesses, also owned by Gupta, that make high value-added
Since moving into steelmaking, aluminium smelting,
engineering and banking, Liberty's operating profit has improved
significantly, jumping 74 percent in 2016 to $99 million while
turnover soared by 82 percent to $6.8 billion.
(Editing by Greg Mahlich and David Goodman)