UK watchdog probes audits of Gupta-founded metal companies

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) – Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Wednesday it has opened four investigations into audits by King & King of steel and aluminium companies owned by metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance.

The Financial Reporting Council said the investigations are into the financial statements of Liberty Speciality Steels Limited, Alvance British Aluminium Limited, Liberty Steel Newport Limited and Liberty Performance Steels Limited.

The investigations cover the financial year which ended on March 31, 2019 for Liberty Speciality Steels, for Alvance, formerly known as Liberty Aluminium Lochaber, and for Liberty Steel Newport, the watchdog said.

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The investigation into the audit of Liberty Performance Steels covers the year ended 31 March 2020, it added.

King & King, a small two-office accounting firm, could not be immediately reached for comment. GFG Alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The FRC said it make the decision to investigate the audits in February, but gave no further information.

Last month Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said it has made coordinated raids on trading addresses of GFG Alliance. read more

Gupta has been scrambling to refinance his international network of steel and aluminium and energy businesses following the collapse of supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital.

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Reporting by Huw Jones and Pratima Desai; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Louise Heavens

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