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Indian-origin businessman saves 550 jobs in the UK after buying company

The Liberty House group said that is has bought the trade and assets of Amtek Aluminium Castings (Witham) Limited and King Automotive Systems Limited (Amtek UK).

india Updated: Jul 21, 2017 19:48 IST
PTI, London
Indian-origin businessman,UK,Amtek UK
Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group. (Picture courtesy: Liberty House)

Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta, whose Liberty House group has been on a buying spree in the UK’s steel sector, has come to the rescue of hundreds of employees of a top British manufacturer of cast aluminium engine and vehicle components.

The Liberty House group on Thursday said that is has bought the trade and assets of Amtek Aluminium Castings (Witham) Limited and King Automotive Systems Limited (Amtek UK) for an undisclosed sum from administrators PwC, saving the jobs of around 550 automotive workers.

“Despite current challenges, this operation is a valuable asset and a vital part of the UK and EU automotive supply chain. We are very pleased to use our resources and extensive experience in the automotive sector to rescue this enterprise and enable it to recover and reach its true potential,” said Gupta, the UK-based executive chairman of Liberty House.

“We greatly value the specialist skills of the workforce and we will be working closely with them and with key customers to get the business back on a sound footing,” he said.

Amtek UK, which is a Tier 1 supplier to major vehicle manufacturers, has two plants in the West Midlands and one at Witham in Essex with a total of about 550 employees.

The business manufactures aluminium die castings and undertakes a range of complex processes, including machining, assembly and testing of parts used in engines and powertrain components.

Almost all of its products go directly to leading vehicle manufacturers in the UK and EU.

Though it had a strong order book and a market-leading position, Amtek UK struggled under the weight of debt and cash flow difficulties, Liberty said in a statement.

The latest deal strengthens Liberty’s position at the forefront of the British automotive sector as a Tier 1 supplier to virtually all of the major car manufacturers and gives it capacity to supply a wide spectrum of aluminium and steel parts, it said.

Liberty says it sees Amtek’s product range as complementing its other automotive engineering plants in the West Midlands, its Speciality Steels business in Yorkshire, which also supplies the sector, and its aluminium smelting operation in Scotland.

The group is currently developing a major alloy wheel manufacturing plant next to its primary aluminium smelter in Fort William, which will supply around two million wheels a year to British vehicle manufacturers.

The business, which will in future be known as Liberty Aluminium Technologies, will form part of Liberty’s growing network of metal manufacture and engineering businesses, linked to its GreenMetal strategy for integrated and environmentally sustainable production.

The latest transaction comes on the back of a series of acquisitions by Liberty across the UK steel sector, including erstwhile Tata Steel UK plants as well as units formerly owned by NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul’s Caparo group.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 19:48 IST