Deal could save jobs

Turkish military pension fund OYAK to acquire British Steel

British Steel

Future secure: jobs of steelworkers appear to have been saved

Turkey’s military pension fund OYAK has reached a provisional agreement to acquire British Steel, it has announced.

Ataer, a division of OYAK, is in exclusive talks with advisers to the Official Receiver and said it intended to close the deal by the end of this year.

British Steel was declared insolvent in May after the government chose not to provide £30m to the company under its then owner, Greybull Capital. A deal will save potentially 4,000 direct jobs and many more in the supply chain.

In a statement Ataer Holding said it was now exclusively conducting detailed financial, legal and operational review for a period of two months.

It said: “During the exclusivity period, close negotiations to be held with customers, suppliers, employees and trade unions is significant for the future success of British Steel.”

The Ankara-based firm is understood to have told the government that it sees Brexit as an opportunity and would invest £900m to double production at Scunthorpe to more than 4m tonnes of steel per year, bringing jobs to the Lincolnshire site.

But sources have told The Guardian that Liberty House was dismayed that a foreign owner would be favoured over a UK-based company with operations in Scotland, Wales, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Liberty rescued the steel plants in Lanarkshire.

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