Albion Steel out of Tata sales bid

Seven bids for Tata's loss-making British steel business have gone through to the next round of the sales process - but Sheffield-based Albion Steel is not one of them.

Tuesday, 10th May 2016, 3:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2016, 3:25 pm
Thrybergh Mill, Tata steelworks in Rotherham. Picture Tony Johnson

Indian-owned put its beleaguered steel business up for sale in late April and received 65 expressions of interest before a deadline last week.

The seven that have gone through are interested in buying the entire UK operations, which employs 11,000. But that number could rise, with Tata saying it is “clarifying outstanding points with a number of other parties”.

John Healey

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Albion Steel, a start-up led by Forgemasters chairman Tony Pedder suggested a scheme to buy the speciality steelworks based in Stocksbridge and Rotherham.

It was set up to establish a new ‘direct strip casting’ plant which uses a cost-saving and greener method to make steel, and wanted to combine the concept with the speciality steels business.

Dr Rod Beddows, director at Albion Steel Ltd, said: “We have been advised by Tata that our expression of interest in the Tata Steels speciality steels business is not being pursued.

“This is disappointing as the proposal could provide a robust long-term outlook for the speciality steels business and a new, unique and economically viable model for the manufacture of strip steel within the UK.

John Healey

“Albion Steel remains interested in developing its offer and is hopeful of looking at possible ways of working with any of the other bidders for the Tata Steel UK business if that is helpful in terms of giving a sustainable overall outcome.”

Koushik Chatterjee, group executive director, said: “We have been pleased with the response.”

John Healey has called for the best deal to ‘safeguard jobs and investment.’

The Wentworth and Dearne MP spoke out ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on the future of the UK steel industry, which will take place tomorrow.

Mr Healey said: “It is not surprising to anyone in South Yorkshire that there is a lot of interest in UK steel, as we are aware of how valuable the industry is.

“The Government’s role now must be to secure the best deal for UK steel, which prioritises jobs and investment for the long-term.

“Our own Rotherham and Stocksbridge plants have faced hundreds of redundancies over the past year and the workers and families deserve some certainty for the future.

“This is why I am urging the Government to keep the employees and the communities at the heart of this process.”