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British Steel buyer has not yet appeared

Europe / Business and Finance

Despite the fact that the deadline for filing applications for the acquisition of the bankrupt steel mill British Steel ended last Sunday, the British Minister of Business continues to travel around the world in search of a client, and the liquidator is not able to report at least the number of purchase applications received so far .

British Steel buyer has not yet appeared

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark has traveled to India and China over the past two weeks to meet with companies considered to be potential bidders for British Steel, amid growing concerns about the future of the bankrupt company, which employs at least 11,000 people. .

Over the past few days, the Minister of Ministers met with JSW, one of the largest steel producers in India. This follows a trip to China last week, where negotiations took place with the largest steel company Baowu, which has shown an interest in British Steel.

International visits show Mr Clarke's growing efforts to find an investor to rescue the UK's second largest steel mill, whose future is in the balance after the collapse of the bankruptcy.

The government covers the costs of the forced liquidation, with workers' salaries and company bills paid while the accounting firm EY is on the hunt for the new owner.

While there is interest in parts of British Steel, such as small rolling mills in mainland Europe and northeast England, the government wants the business to be sold as a single, continuous operation.

Unions believe this will increase their chances of survival and protect jobs, and some insolvency experts say it will provide more value.

The State Insolvency Service, which receives a 15 percent discount on any sale, said it received several applications for the entire company, as well as parts of it, but did not specify how many.

However, the Sunday deadline is considered flexible, and EY may consider any later proposals.

As the race for the new leader of the Conservative party to succeed Theresa May as prime minister enters its final stages, Mr. Clarke will seek to find a solution to the industrial crisis in which he has invested political capital.

At his behest, the government gave British Steel a £ 120m loan to pay off its obligations under the EU's green scheme, after Britain's delayed exit from the bloc forced Brussels to suspend new carbon credits to UK companies.

Shortly thereafter, British Steel requested a second time loan of £ 75 million, saying the Brexit uncertainty had led to a drop in customer orders. But this was rejected and the company began insolvency proceedings.

Liberty House, an industrial conglomerate led by Sanjeev Gupta that is heavily involved in acquisitions around the world, said British Steel in its current form was not in line with its strategy, but added that it was “monitoring the situation.”

Brexit remains a problem for traders and those who follow the company.

“Like all producers, the steel sector has concerns about a tough Brexit and tariffs,” say sources close to the government.

The official civil servant in charge of the liquidation process told the British media:

“I am encouraged by the level of interest in buying British Steel. After reviewing all the offers received, I am now in further discussions with potential buyers who have made the most viable business offers. While these commercial negotiations continue, British Steel continues to trade and supply its customers as usual. ”

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