Sanjeev Gupta, the British business tycoon of Indian origin who bought Arrium steelworks in Australia in July this year, has acquired a controlling stake in Adelaide-based Zen Energy for an undisclosed sum.
Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance said in a statement that their energy division SIMEC Energy struck an agreement to buy 50.1 per cent shares of Australian solar company Zen to power its mining business and to meet the growing domestic energy needs.
Gupta Family Marks Presence in Australia
The majority ownership in Zen will provide reliable and environmentally sustainable energy to mining operations conducted by SIMEC in South Australia, and Liberty OneSteel’s operations in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Liberty OneSteel is headed by Sanjeev Gupta himself, while SIMEC is run by his father Parduman Gupta.
Zen Energy will be renamed Simec Zen Energy, and it will now be a part of GFG Alliance, which holds power generation assets of 600 megawatts in the United Kingdom. The company also has 400 megawatts under development, including tidal, biofuel, hydro, solar and wind energy.
“The high cost of energy for Australian consumers is debilitating for the economy and a crying shame for a country so rich in resources. We clearly see a need for industrial groups and energy generators to work together,” said Gupta, the executive chairman of GFG, Reuters reported.
“Combining our power expertise developed in the UK, and Zen’s local knowledge in Australia, is a natural partnership. ZEN Energy is proudly Australian and brings unparalleled market and technological knowledge to address the challenges faced by the Australian power sector. We are delighted to partner with them on projects and look to invest for further growth. Our main focus, as in the UK, will be renewable energy,” added Gupta.
Gupta also talked about the vitality of formulating long-term sustainable energy solutions, which are economical and environment-friendly.
Zen On Partnership with GFG Alliance
After the deal, Ross Garnaut, the chairman of Zen Energy, said they use a combination of energy from new and existing power plants, and with effective demand management technologies, they are able to deliver energy supply solutions at a very competitive price.
“ZEN has spent many years building the strategy, business models and management and technological capacities to introduce new solutions to Australia’s energy problems of weak competition, high costs, low reliability and unnecessary pollution,” he said.
“We have been looking for the right capital investor and strategic partner to help realise our plans, and have found the perfect match in Sanjeev and the SIMEC Energy team. Their understanding of the energy dilemma this country faces, which is making much of our industry uncommercial and environmentally unsustainable, means we see the market need and opportunity in the same way. We are excited about the future, as this will yield benefits for Australian jobs, investors, communities and the environment.”
Garnaut and company founder Richard Turner will stay with the company.
Sanjeev Gupta: All You Need to Know
Gupta was born in 1972 as the third of four children of industrialist Parduman Gupta. After studying economics at the Trinity College, Cambridge, Sanjeev Gupta founded the Liberty House Group in 1992. The company is headquartered in Mayfair, London, and it has branches in Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong.
The Liberty empire, which includes his father’s Simec business, had a net business turnover of $6.7 billion, and pretax earnings of $140 million as of 2016. The group has net assets of $1 billion.