Jobs hope as buyer lined up for Rotherham's Tata steel plant

AN INTERNATIONAL metals firm is set to purchase Tata Steel UK’s threatened speciality steels arm — including its Rotherham plants.

AN INTERNATIONAL metals firm is set to purchase Tata Steel UK’s threatened speciality steels arm — including its Rotherham plants.

Liberty House Group is now in exclusive buy-out talks with Tata, the London-based company announced on this morning.

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Around 1,700 jobs could be saved by the £100 million deal, which is expected to be finalised early next year.

Jobs at Aldwarke and Brinsworth would be secured, along with more at Wednesbury, Stocksbridge and Bolton.

Liberty House Group has already bought Tata’s Scottish steel plate mills, concluding the deal in April.

Sanjeev Gupta, Liberty House Group’s executive chairman, said: “We look forward to working with Tata Steel over the coming weeks to complete this hugely important milestone transaction.

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“We recognise the world-class skills of the speciality steels workforce and are eager to join with them to develop the business and increase market share, both domestically and internationally using our global presence.”

Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK, said: “This is an important step forward in seeking a future for speciality steels and we have reached this stage thanks to the efforts of employees, trade unions and management.”

Chris Williamson, Rotherham’s Community union branch secretary, said the mood this week was one of cautious optimism.

He added: “We have a long way to go yet but at least it’s a start. It shows the workforce that they are wanted.”

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Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, said: “This is one step closer to ending the limbo that the Tata business is in.

“The priority now is to test Liberty’s plans for their commitment to the investment, jobs and marketing that can continue Specialty Steel’s success for the long-term.”

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron said: “This is a step in the right direction for the UK steel industry, however I will continue to work with the Steel All Party Parliamentary Group to raise remaining issues such energy costs and business rates with the government to ensure British steel has a strong future.”