U.K. Ends Criminal Probe Into Steel Business That Gupta Bought
The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office closed its near six year investigation into Speciality Steels without bringing any charges, a firm currently owned by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance.
The criminal probe, which was officially shut down Wednesday, began in 2016 after a lapse in procedures at the steelmaker was discovered through an internal audit. At the time, Speciality Steels was owned by Tata Steel, which subsequently sold it to GFG’s Liberty for 100 million pounds ($137 million) in 2017.
“There is a high bar for the SFO to charge individuals or companies with a criminal offense and we will close cases where it is not in the public interest for us to continue with our investigation,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor said.
Speciality Steels, which produces steel components for the aerospace and energy industry, is one of the units of GFG that Gupta has earmarked for sale. The group plans to restart the steel plants as it looks for a buyer, it said Sunday.
“This was a historical investigation relating to a time period prior to Liberty owning the business,” a spokesperson for Liberty Steel said. “Nevertheless, Liberty cooperated fully with the SFO which has been acknowledged.”
A spokesman for Tata Steel said it noted the closing of the investigation into activity at its former business.
The investigation is separate to the SFO’s current probe into GFG, which was announced in May. That relates to suspicions of fraud and money laundering, and is also investigating GFG’s financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK Ltd.
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