Sheffield steel boss linked to Tata sale

Albion Steel boss and Forgemasters chairman Tony Pedder
Albion Steel boss and Forgemasters chairman Tony Pedder
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A start-up steel company led by former Master Cutler Tony Pedder has been revealed as a potential buyer for Tata’s South Yorkshire operations.

Albion Steel has confirmed its interest in Speciality Steels - which employs more than 2,000 in Rotherham and Stocksbridge.

The company was set-up to establish a new steel plant employing 200 people using ‘direct strip casting’ in the UK for the first time. It is an advanced process for making steel that uses far less power and requires less space than a traditional steel mill.

Albion has been seeking investment and a potential site since its launch last year.

Now it says it could combine the concept with the Speciality Steels business, which makes carbon, alloy and stainless steels for the aerospace, motorsports and oil and gas sectors.

The announcement comes after debt-hit Tata put its entire UK operations up for sale.

Speciality Steels is said to be profitable most years, has its own board, its own accounts and recently had a business plan approved by the firm’s Indian owners.

A spokesperson for Albion said: “Albion Steel Limited was established to bring new steel manufacturing technology to the UK and is in the process of developing its business plan, locating a potential site and securing further investment.

“The recent 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.

“This opportunity is a complex one, which has the best prospect of successful execution if Tata is prepared to approach its disposal plans in a different way and to engage strategically with Albion and other interested parties to seek a negotiated structure.”

The firm was co-founded by Tony Pedder OBE, a former Master Cutler and current chairman at Sheffield Forgemasters, and Dr Rod Beddows.

Speciality Steels has a £275m turnover.