Like Sky News reports that the UK government is working on a plan to take over the 215-year-old Sheffield steelmaker. Reporters have learned that the Department of Defense is in preliminary negotiations to acquire control of Sheffield Forgemasters in an attempt to strengthen the supply chain of the British nuclear submarine fleet.
Sources in the iron and steel industry said this weekend that the UK Department of Defense has hired accounting firm Deloitte to advise on negotiations with a private company. They warned that a full takeover of the business is just one of many options being considered, and that it will likely take several months before reaching any agreement.
"If the deal does take place, it will reflect the government's increasingly interventionist approach to asset ownership, with implications for national security," Sky News noted.
Sheffield Forgemasters CEO David Bond said his company won £ 66 million in new contracts during the year, mainly through defense orders that will provide the bulk of the group's revenues through 2022.
However, Sheffield Forgemasters said in October that it would cut nearly 100 jobs - more than 10% of its workforce - as a result of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on commercial customer demand in industries such as oil and gas.>
Thus, the UK is trying to take control of the company's assets, to prevent foreign firms from taking over the steel plant from the military secrets of the British fleet.
Sky News recalled that in 2015, an unidentified state-owned Chinese company approached Sheffield Forgemasters with an offer to save the business, a deal with which was ultimately blocked by the UK government.