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Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance strikes debt deal with Credit Suisse

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FILE PHOTO: Liberty Steel's Sanjeev Gupta pictured in Scotland
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LONDON (Reuters) - The GFG Alliance said on Sunday it had agreed a debt restructuring deal with Credit Suisse for its Australian steel and coal mining assets, and announced plans to inject 50 million pounds ($68 million) into the restart of its Rotherham electric furnace in the United Kingdom.

GFG, owned by commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, has been scrambling to refinance its cash-starved web of businesses in steel, aluminium and energy after supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital filed for insolvency in March.

The debt restructuring for its Australia assets will allow GFG to make a "substantial upfront payment" to Greensill Bank and Credit Suisse, with the balance paid in instalments until the new maturity date of June 2023, a statement from GFG said.

Zurich-based Credit Suisse had previously disclosed some $2.3 billion worth of loans exposed to financial and litigation uncertainties within Greensill-linked supply chain finance funds, with some $1.2 billion of its assets related to GFG.

Following the cash injection into its UK steel business, Liberty Steel, production will start in October with a plan for output to reach 50,000 tonnes per month as soon as possible, the statement said.

Jeffrey S. Stein, the chief restructuring officer, said in the statement that new lenders in Europe had expressed interest in refinancing GFG's steel assets.

In Europe, GFG said it had launched a legal action against private equity firm AIP, which said it had taken control of GFG's smelter in Dunkirk, Europe's largest primary aluminium producer.

($1 = 0.7332 pounds)

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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