Thursday, September 8, 2016

News: Two bids for Tata's South Yorkshire sites

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Two bids have been submitted for Tata Steel's Speciality business, which includes the two major sites in Rotherham and Sheffield.

At the end of March, the Indian-owned steelmaker concluded that it was exploring all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential sale of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts. Following a board meeting in July, the steelmaker decided on a separate process for the potential sale of its Speciality Steels business, which until recently employed over 2,000 people at sites like Aldwarke in Rotherham and Stocksbridge in Sheffield.

Speciality Steels is not considered a downstream business linked to Port Talbot and strip products. With a £275m turnover, it is Tata Steel Europe's only Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) based business and produces steel, predominantly stainless and low alloy grades, that is used in landing gear and aircraft engines including the landing gear of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Cllr, Stuart Sansome, Swinton ward councillor at Rotherham Council has confirmed that there are now two bids for the speciality steel business in its entirety, including the two businesses in Rotherham (at Aldwarke and Brinsworth Strip Mill).

The retired steelworker and union man gave an update on the progress of the sale at this week's council meeting.

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The Liberty House Group, one of the bidders for the whole of the Tata Steel UK business, is reported to be one of the bidders. Liberty House is an international steel and non-ferrous metals group and has already taken on plants in Newport and Scotland. It also acquired parts of Caparo's advanced engineering products and precision strip businesses in the West Midlands.

At the very start of the sales process, Albion Steel, led by co-founders Dr Rod Beddows and Tony Pedder OBE, expressed an interest in the speciality business. The group has previously been looking at the feasibility of building the first carbon steel plant in the country for forty years.

Albion said at the time that the Tata problems "highlighted an unexpected opportunity to combine the Albion concept with the Tata Steel Speciality Steels business in an innovative structure which may potentially include other metals producers in the region."

It was reported during the sale of the whole of Tata Steel's UK assets that Albion was lining up behind JSW, the steel business of Indian conglomerate, JSW Group.

Tata Steel has a policy not to name, confirm or comment on any potentially interested investor or bidder.

Tata Steel Europe website

Images: Tata Steel


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