French prosecutors investigate Sanjeev Gupta’s business empire – FT



Liberty Steel boss Sanjeev Gupta stands outside a steel pressing plant in Dalzell after finalizing its purchase, in Scotland, Britain April 8, 2016. REUTERS / Russell Cheyne / File Photo

Nov. 7 (Reuters) – French authorities have opened an investigation into Sanjeev Gupta’s business empire, the Financial Times reported on Sunday citing the Paris prosecutor’s office.

The prosecutor’s office told the newspaper it was investigating Gupta’s French operations following allegations of “misuse of company property” and “money laundering”.

The investigation was launched in July after suspicious activity was reported by public officials, the FT said.

GFG said it was “unaware of any such investigation and refutes any suggestion of wrongdoing in its French operations.”

According to the FT, government officials have signaled Gupta’s deal with commodities trader Glencore Plc (GLEN.L) to fend off an attempted takeover by US private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP).

“There was a trade agreement with Glencore at market rates to ensure stable funding for the company,” GFG said in a statement.

Officials also reported that GFG used 25 million euros ($ 28.89 million) from the Dunkirk smelter to pay legal costs arising from a dispute with global mining group Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.L ), according to the report citing people briefed on the matter.

In August, GFG announced that it had settled a dispute with Rio Tinto concerning the acquisition of the Dunkirk aluminum smelter in 2018. read more

The Paris prosecutor’s office could not be reached immediately for a comment on Sunday.

GFG scrambled to refinance its network of cash-strapped companies in steel, aluminum and energy after supply chain finance company Greensill filed for bankruptcy in March.

Earlier in May, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opened an investigation into Gupta’s commodities empire. The investigation focused on the conglomerate’s ties to collapsed lender Greensill Capital. Read more

($ 1 = € 0.8655)

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Rhea Binoy in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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