Sheffield firm on Tata shortlist

A Sheffield firm could win the race to buy Tata's Speciality Steels division after the shortlist of bidders was cut to two.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 1:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 3:37 pm
19 July 2016 ...Tour of Tata Steel in Rotherham and Stocksbridge to view the high standard of steel produced those sites. Picture Scott Merrylees

Albion Steel, a start-up headed by Forgemasters chairman Tony Pedder, is up against international steel company Liberty House Group.

The shortlist was revealed by a Community Union source, who also said a decision was set to be made by the middle of October.

He added: “I’m told both bidders have promised to keep the business together. It’s great news that our heritage of steelmaking in Rotherham and South Yorkshire is being retained.”

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It is believed that Liberty Group is the front runner in the contest.

A value of £100m has been suggested for the deal.

Speciality Steels employs 1,800 including 860 in Stocksbridge, 750 at Thrybergh and 110 in Brinsworth, Rotherham. It also has a unit in Hartlepool.

Earlier this year Greybull Capital bought Tata’s Long Products division for £1.

Tata put its entire loss-making UK operations up for sale.

The process was paused after the Government offered financial assistance, and a rise in steel prices.

The sale of Speciality Steels is going ahead separately and without subsidy.

Some 70 per cent of business is export, half into Europe, on turnover of £300m. It makes aerospace, automotive and oil and gas products.

Liberty, run by Sanjeev Gupta, is an international steel and non-ferrous metals group, operating from four financial hubs, in the UK, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong, with a global network of offices spread across 30 countries.

The group has 3,000 employees and turnover of $4.3 billion.

The UK steel sector has suffered thousands of job losses in the past year due to a global crisis caused by over supply and dumping by Chinese producers.

Tata quarterly results, released this week, showed a net loss of £358m for the quarter to June. A Tata spokesman said: “The sale process continues.”

Liberty and Albion Steel declined to comment.