Belfast Telegraph

British and West African consortium tables last-ditch British Steel bid

PA understands the unnamed industrial group has submitted a late bid to the Government to secure the future of the steelworks.

The steelworks plant in Scunthorpe (PA)
The steelworks plant in Scunthorpe (PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

A British-West African industrial consortium has submitted a last-minute rescue offer to snap up the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe.

PA understands the unnamed industrial group has submitted a late bid to the Government in an effort re-establish the international trade credentials of the site.

The consortium, which involves a leading UK civil engineering company operating in West Africa, is the latest to enter the fray to take control of the steel supplier after it collapsed into liquidation 11 weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the group said the offer was now under consideration by the Government’s  appointed receiver Ernst & Young (EY) and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom.

The group is working on a long-term massive infrastructure project in West Africa and would export steel from Scunthorpe to the project, were it to successfully acquire the site, PA understands.

The offer could secure thousands of jobs at the Scunthorpe site (Danny Lawson/PA)

British Steel would be used to fully deliver the project and associated works, which is estimated to be delivered over the next 10 years.

The consortium has been considering other operations around Europe to facilitate the quality and  quantity of steel required, but “believe this is by far the best fit”, according to sources close to the offer.

However, it has been reported that a Turkish military pension fund is currently in pole position to save the steelworks and provide security for its 4,000 workers.

The Financial Times revealed on Wednesday that Ataer Holding, which is also the largest shareholder in steel group Erdemir, is negotiating with the Government over a rescue deal.

A rival offer is also reportedly on the table from Liberty House, a UK industrial conglomerate led by metals magnate Sanjeev Gupta.