333 steel jobs saved as Caparo business sold
A further 333 jobs have been saved at the steel group Caparo.
Administrators PwC said the Caparo Tubular Solutions business had been sold to the Gupta family, whose interests include the Simec and Liberty House groups.
Caparo Tubular Solutions includes the businesses of Caparo Precision Tubes Oldbury, Caparo Tube Components, Caparo Accles and Pollock, Hub Le Bas and the Caparo Tubes Tredegar asset.
Robert Moran, partner at PwC leading the Caparo sales process, said: " The sale of Caparo Tubular Solutions is a major boost for the Midlands economy, the employees of Caparo and more widely for the UK steel industry.
"This deal preserves all 333 jobs at Caparo Tubular Solutions, which manufactures, distributes and supplies advanced tube components and parts for the automotive and aerospace industries in the West Midlands and South Wales."
A total of 488 Caparo workers have been taken on through sales of the group's business units since it went into administration last month.
Matthew Hammond, Midlands region chairman for PwC and lead administrator, said: "We are delighted to have made further substantial progress with this deal. We had targeted selling a number of the Caparo businesses during November.
"Our deals team, led by Robert Moran with corporate finance support from Neil Sumner, has successfully concluded transactions in November which preserve businesses and employment."
Russell Farrington, GMB regional organiser, said: "This is a sliver of good news for workers in the steel industry.
"GMB warmly welcome this for the Caparo workers we represent in the West Midlands. We have made progress on the energy prices front for the UK steel industry. We now need action on dumping."
Unite national officer Harish Patel said: "This is a welcome move. Unite will be working with the new owners to ensure jobs are secured in the UK for the long term.
"We will also be seeking assurances and commitments from the new owners on investment and training which is so crucial to sustaining skilled, well-paid jobs in our manufacturing sector."
Sanjeev Gupta, chief executive of Liberty, said: "There are many natural synergies between our hot rolled coil production business and Caparo's design, manufacture and distribution of steel tube and various specialist engineering products.
"They are established customers for our product and we have, in fact, looked at them in the past about the possibility of integrating the two businesses in order to help create a comprehensive and robust new model for the steel sector in the UK. We now aim to achieve that objective.
"I believe that, despite the current difficulties being encountered by the UK steel industry there is a future for the sector in Britain, if we can develop more efficient business models based on streamlined integrated production, processing and distribution.
"This, together with the new initiatives now supported by the Government to lower energy costs for energy intensive industries, provides an opportunity for UK steel once again to be competitive."
Thousands of job losses have been announced in recent weeks by steel firms, blaming high energy costs and business rates as well as cheap Chinese imports.