December 18, 2017 / 2:13 PM / in 10 months

British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta to buy U.S.-based steel assets in 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta is in talks to purchase and build more U.S.-based steel and industrial assets next year, after buying ArcelorMittal’s (MT.AS) Georgetown Steelworks at the weekend.

FILE PHOTO - Liberty Steel's Sanjeev Gupta smiles outside their newly acquired Liberty Steel processing mill in Dalzell, Scotland, Britain April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance which is a $10 billion (£7.4 billion) metals, industrials and energy group, has been snapping up distressed industrial assets in Britain, Australia and the United States in the past few years.

Last week, GFG Alliance struck a deal with UK-based tidal power firm Atlantis Resources ARL.L to form a listed company that marked Gupta’s first step onto the stock market, with further such steps expected next year.

The industrialist told Reuters this year that GFG would list parts of its business, but was more likely list a steel asset in the United States than Britain.

The Georgetown steelworks, which includes a 540,000 tonne-per-year electric arc furnace and a 680,000 tonne-per-year rod mill, would restart in the spring, GFG Alliance said in a statement.

Gupta will initially rehire 125 former employees at the steelworks, aiming to expand the workforce to 250 in the medium-term. The plant was closed in August 2015 and directly employed more than 320 workers.

The GFG Alliance runs metals group Liberty House and energy and commodities group SIMEC, with assets spanning steelmaking, aluminium smelting, engineering, renewable and non-renewable energy, commodities trading, shipping, property and finance.

Born in Punjab, India, Gupta moved to Britain aged 12 and ventured into business at Cambridge University by selling chemical products to Nigeria where his industrialist father had business interests.

He bears no relation to the Gupta family in South Africa.

Reporting by Maytaal Angel; Editing by Edmund Blair

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