Relief as 'winding up' threat to 2,000 Liberty Steel jobs in South Yorkshire is lifted

The immediate threat of closure at Liberty Steel sites in South Yorkshire has lifted after HMRC withdrew a ‘winding up’ petition, the company says.

Monday, 7th March 2022, 2:31 pm

Bosses had ‘positive discussions’ with the tax authority leading to the procedure reportedly being discontinued.

They say they are also having ‘constructive’ talks with creditors over repaying debts, and with new lenders over longer term refinancing.

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Liberty Speciality Steels, Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

WHY WAS THE WINDING UP PETITION ISSUED?

Last month, HMRC applied for a winding up petition - an application to a court to close down a company - over unpaid debts believed to be £25m.

Parent company GFG Alliance was left in turmoil following the collapse of lender Greensill Capital last year.

There has been a ‘significant injection’ of cash to enable ‘renewed steelmaking’ at plants including High Value Manufacturing in Stocksbridge and Brinsworth Strip Mill in Rotherham.

Jeffrey Kabel, chief transformation officer at Liberty Steel Group, said: “We’re pleased to report good further progress in our negotiations with creditors including UK’s HMRC. We are committed to repaying all creditors and this is an important step in enabling us to restructure and achieve long-term refinancing.

“Our core international businesses have continued to generate strong returns and achieve record production levels despite the sky-high energy costs facing energy-intensive industries across the U.K and Europe. We will continue to progress our efforts to refocus and refinance our operations for the long-term.”

Meanwhile, a ‘significant injection’ of cash has seen ‘renewed steelmaking’ at plants including High Value Manufacturing in Stocksbridge and Brinsworth Strip Mill in Rotherham.

It comes after £50m was pumped into the business to restart operations at the main plant in Rotherham in October.

A spokesman said a steelmaking campaign in February met planned production targets.

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