U.K. Officials in Talks with Liberty Steel Amid Jobs Concerns

British government officials are in constant contact with Liberty Steel amid concerns jobs and plants may be at risk because of the unraveling of Greensill Capital, the biggest lender to Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, which includes the steelmaker.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held a video call with Liberty executives on Sunday to discuss contingency plans for the manufacturer, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke anonymously about private discussions. British officials are also conscious of GFG’s pension liabilities, the person said.

With thousands of jobs at stake, the U.K. government is trying to secure the future of the steelmaker as ministers also seek to preserve an industry that’s strategically important to the country. GFG employs some 5,500 people at more than 30 sites across the U.K., including almost 3,000 at Liberty. The alliance also includes an aluminum smelter in Scotland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman Jamie Davies says the U.K. government continues to “follow developments closely” after Greensill Capital filed for administration. “We have in general been a strong advocate for the steel industry and continue to work closely with them to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low-carbon future,” Davies said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

GFG is in talks to negotiate a reprieve on its debt obligations to Greensill Capital and prevent a rapid collapse of the metals group, people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the talks are private, told Bloomberg. Greensill filed for administration on Monday.

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