Liberty Steel says it is making good progress with refinancing after collapse of its main backer

Liberty Steel says it is making good progress with refinancing after the collapse of its main lender.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 4:16 pm

There are concerns for about 5,000 jobs at Liberty plants across the UK - including 250 at its site in Hartlepool’s Brenda Road – comes after its parent company GFG Alliance’s chief financial backer Greensill went into administration earlier this year.

Now the Liberty Steel Group has announced the appointment of four new directors to lead and accelerate its restructuring and refinancing in order to “protect and maximise creditor and stakeholder value”.

The company says it is prudently managing cash across its global operations to ensure it has adequate funding for its current needs while the refinancing is completed.

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Liberty Steel's Hartlepool plant where around 250 people work.

It added it is making good progress with refinancing as Liberty Primary Steel and Mining Australia agreeing terms to refinance its Greensill exposure.

Record steel prices and Liberty’s operational improvement programme have also allowed its core businesses to maintain their strong performance since the beginning of the year, it says.

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During an election campaign visit to Hartlepool on Monday, May 3, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said talks between the Government and Liberty were continuing.

He told journalists: "We’re in literally daily talks. There’s a massive pipeline for steel in this country; five million tonnes worth of steel that we need for our new railways, our new housing, nuclear power plants.

"I want British steel to be taking the lions share of that.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, felt the Government could still be doing more to safeguard the future of the company.

Speaking during a by-election visit to the premises, he said: “This is the third time I’ve been here in Hartlepool and it’s very clear that people want to know what is the future for the jobs in Hartlepool.”

The new Liberty Steel directors appointed are Jeffrey S Stein as Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO), Jeff Kabel as Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), Iain Hunter as Chief Governance Officer (CGO), and Deepak Sogani as new chief financial officer (CFO) and interim CFO for GFG Alliance.

The roles of Mr Stein and Mr Kabel are independent interim roles.

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