Friday, 15 November, 2019

Turkey’s military pension fund reaches British Steel deal

Workers leave the steelworks plant in Scunthorpe following a shift change as owner British Steel is to go into official recievership after failing to secure funds for its future British Steel workers hope jobs safe as buyer found in rescue deal
Russell Knight | 18 August, 2019, 13:39

Oyak Group has signed an exclusivity agreement to buy British Steel, a spokesperson for the Turkish military pension fund tells Kallanish.

After British Steel entered insolvency, United Kingdom authorities put the company up for sale and almost 80 bidders including steel producers sought to buy it, OYAK said.

Sky News first revealed that Ataer, a unit of Oyak which looks after the pension pots of Turkey's military personnel, had entered into exclusive talks with advisers to the government who have been running the auction of the ailing steelmakeron behalf of the Official Receiver.

British Steel, which is now owned by private investment company Greybull Capital LLP, has said its workforce, and an additional 20,000 employees in the supply chain, are at risk of losing their jobs if a suitable buyer can not be found.

Although a number of firms are thought to have lodged an interest in acquiring the insolvent steelmaker - nearly 80 bidders, according to Oyak - Ataer Holdings has been named at EY's preferred bidder.

Both parties are now in the stages of finalising the purchase, with Oyak's accountants taking over the books.

'I will be looking to conclude this process in the coming weeks, during which time British Steel continues to trade and supply its customers as normal. "I would like to thank all employees, suppliers, and customers for their continued support which has been essential to get to this point".

Ataer Holding said it was conducting a detailed financial, legal operational review of the business that would take two months.

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The rescue deal will be welcomed by British Steel's 5,000 staff, whose jobs were thrown into doubt after the company collapsed into administration earlier this year.

"This is great news for British Steel and the thousands of workers and their families", said Anna Turley, the local MP for Redcar in northeast England.

"While there is much work still to be done, today's announcement is an important stepping stone on the way to securing a sustainable future for this cornerstone of British industry".

Stace called on the government to support the deal and come up with a long-term approach to support the industry.

"The UK steel sector has a potentially bright future, underpinned by increasing UK and global steel demand for our products, but the Government must recognise the need to address the business environment in the UK which now undermines our competitiveness".

British Steel went bankrupt after failing to receive a £ 30m financial injection from the United Kingdom government.

Union workers said the news was a relief.

"Ataer requiring more steel for its "downstream" plants, means production in the United Kingdom could increase post-sale, which would be very good news for the domestic workforce", John Cullen, business recovery partner at accountancy firm, Menzies, said.

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