The French headquarters of British steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance and a foundry have been raided by investigators investigating suspicions of money laundering and misuse of corporate assets, the company said on Tuesday.
Last week’s searches at the Paris headquarters and the Aluminum Dunkerque smelter were part of a preliminary investigation opened last July and carried out by a brigade specializing in financial crime, said a source familiar with the matter. , confirming information from the Financial Financial Times. Time.
Gupta and his company Liberty Steel were once considered the savior of British steelmaking.
But Liberty Steel, one of the world’s leading steel groups, fought for its survival after the March 2021 collapse of Greensill Capital, the main lender to its parent company Gupta Family Group (GFG) Alliance.
British authorities are also investigating the GFG Alliance.
“The French authorities came to our offices in Paris last week as part of the ongoing investigation,” a GFG Alliance spokesperson told AFP.
“We strongly reject any suggestion of wrongdoing and we continue to cooperate fully with the French authorities to help them close the case quickly,” he added.
The French case initially involved a state-guaranteed loan provided by Greensill Capital to GFG-owned smelter Liberty Aluminum Poitou, the source familiar with the matter said.
It then expanded to Aluminum Dunkerque, the largest foundry in Europe, whose takeover last October by the investment fund American Industrial Partners (AIP) is contested by GFG.
According to the FT, the investigation relates to a deal reached with Swiss commodities group Glencore to block the takeover and use of 25 million euros of the smelter’s accounts to settle a dispute with Rio Tinto, the mining group British-Australian who sold the smelter to GFG Alliance in 2018.