Whyalla steelworks saviour Sanjeev Gupta says he expects more investors to follow his push into the heavy industry sector, as global growth synergises with technological development to create new opportunities.
Gupta entered the public eye in Australia when he spent almost $700 million to buy the Whyalla steelworks, via his firm Liberty House, which partnered with his father’s company, SIMEC, in the acquisition.
SIMEC, in its capacity as the alliance’s mining division, agreed at the start of 2018 to buy Glencore’s Tahmoor coal mine for $500 million, to supply the steelworks with its coking coal.
A fortnight later, Gupta’s Liberty House agreed to buy Europe’s biggest smelter from Rio Tinto for US$500 million.
“We’ve chosen to grow globally and will look to do so in every jurisdiction where we have a presence,” Gupta was quoted as saying by Financial Times.
Quoted by Fairfax, Gupta said he expected positive investor sentiment to grow in the heavy industrial sector.
“There is not many people who believe it is time to reinvest in heavy opportunity,” Gupta was quoted as saying.
“But the opportunity today is great in places like France, like Australia, like the UK, like the US. I thin kit is the beginning of a new era in where we will see an investor revival.
“These are unloved assets, hence they are relatively good value for money, which is from an investor point of view very important because we are getting these at good value.”
Gupta referred to “a general revival in Western economies on all continents,” adding that a new economy is emerging based around combining new technologies.
“The concept that labour is the fault or the cause of decline in industry is now, at least in our mind, being overcome because technology overcomes this,” he was quoted as saying.
“As long as you have demand and you have products which are consumed in these countries, these industries are well placed because with new technologies you can make these industries very competitive and compelling.”