Metal component supplier Liberty Aluminium Technologies (LAT) is holding talks with lenders to avoid imminently falling into administration – representing a supply threat to its main client, Jaguar Land Rover.
LAT, a division of the GFG Alliance, run by industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, operates three sites, employs 250 people in the UK and is widely reported to be on the brink of collapse if talks with lenders are unfruitful. Sky News cites sources as saying LAT could collapse “within days” if a buyer is not found.
Gupta’s business empire has been the subject of headlines in recent weeks, after the collapse of principal financial backer Greensill Capital made its global business position uncertain.
Last month, it was announced that the GFG-owned Liberty Steel division would sell several of its UK plants in an effort to raise capital, putting some 1500 jobs at risk.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is cited as LAT’s main client. Although it is unclear which components it supplies to the car maker, aluminium forms the basis of the body and chassis of many core JLR models.
LAT was put up for sale in May as part of GFG’s restructuring programme, but a buyer has yet to come forward and it is unclear whether avoiding insolvency proceedings will allow the company to continue trading.
The Guardian reports that LAT has asked its main bank, Close Brothers, for more time to pursue discussions with four potential buyers. The paper cites a company spokesperson as saying it was targeting an “accelerated sales process” if Close Brothers agreed to an extended deadline.
JLR declined to comment on the situation when approached by Autocar.