Gupta's GFG files High Court claim against AIP amid French smelter row

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Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has filed a claim against American Industrial Partners (AIP) with the High Court amid a row over an aluminium smelter in France.

A GFG spokesperson said: “GFG’s opinion is that AIP has unlawfully expropriated the valuable aluminium smelter, located in Dunkerque, France, belonging to GFG’s ALVANCE Aluminium business.

“Despite GFG providing funds to pay all liabilities owed to AIP under a financing agreement, as well as arranging offers from third party funders to refinance or purchase all relevant obligations to AIP in full, AIP nevertheless purported to exercise security rights to take control of the operating companies.”

The spokesperson added that GFG made clear to AIP that it would pursue legal action to recover the asset if needed.

Private equity firm AIP said earlier this month that it had acquired ownership of the aluminium smelter in Dunkirk after a unit of Gupta’s metals empire had defaulted on outstanding loans.

Commodities tycoon Gupta has been scrambling for cash to shore up his crumbling steel, aluminium and energy empire – with creditors circling the assets – ever since the collapse of supply chain finance firm Greensill in March.

And after the price of aluminium reached its highest level since 2007, Gupta fiercely rejected AIP’s attempt to scoop one part of his business he’d been relying upon to stay afloat.

Meanwhile, AIP said that the transfer of ownership had been approved by French authorities and welcomed by France’s economy and industry ministers.

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