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Potential buyer emerges

Liberty House expresses interest in Scottish steel plants

DalzellA potential buyer has emerged for Tata Steel’s two mothballed plants in Lanarkshire, according to a report this morning.

Global metals firm, Liberty House, is said to be interested in acquiring the Dalzell and Clydebridge works where 270 jobs are being lost as part of a UK-wide cutback by owner Tata.

Liberty House is already active in rescuing seemingly doomed British steel plants. It is reopening a 40-year-old rolling mill in South Wales that will produce steel coil for the UK market.

The plant has 150 staff, and the company hopes to expand that to 1,000 jobs to make liquid steel if the government lowers power prices to help British steel compete with cheap Chinese imports.

It also bought Caparo Tubular Solutions, a West Midlands-based division of Caparo Industries, which fell into administration in October.

The family-run business operates in 30 countries and owns commodities trading group Simec.

Sanjeev Gupta, Liberty’s managing director, who founded the company while a student at Cambridge university in 1992, has spoken of “bucking the trend” in steel by reviving British plants.

The company’s interest came ahead of the fifth meeting of the Scottish Steel Task Force after which Business Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Task Force welcomed the interest of Liberty Group and agreed it was a positive step in our objective to keep the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants open. While nothing is yet agreed, there is a degree of optimism at the current situation.

“Time is of the essence and the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise can offer support to any new commercial operator wishing to restart operations, with action being taken forward on energy costs, business rates, procurement and on environmental issues.

“All members of the Task Force will continue to do everything possible to secure a sustainable future for Scottish steel.”


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