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UK private ports backer in financial trouble

[ March 8, 2021   //   ]

Concerns are mounting over the owner of a private UK port operator after its financial backer went into administration on 8 March. Specialist bank Greensill Capital was the main lender to Sanjeev Gupta, whose interests include Simec Ports, which owns and operates Bird Port on the river Usk near Newport in South Wales and port facilities in Blyth, Northumberland, along with a facility in Whyalla, South Australia.

SIMEC, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, acquired the freehold of the private Bird Port in 2018, followed, later in the same year by the Cargo Services UK operating business.

Bird Port is directly adjacent to Liberty Steel Newport steel rolling mill, owned by GFG. 

Bird Port has three berths – two short-sea and one deep-sea, warehousing, and a rail connection.

Historically it handled over 500,000-tonnes annually of steel products, mostly exports of steel coil plus imports of raw materials and deliveries of recycled feedstock for the steel mill. The port offers a covered loading dock.

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