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Government prepares financial package for steel industry

After weeks of uncertainty there have been major developments today over the future of Tata Steel. The Government says it's preparing a financial package worth hundreds of millions of pounds for any potential buyers.

Steel expert Roger Maggs, who is heading the consortium, welcomed the intervention.

But Phillip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, thinks the Government shouldn't be using tax payers' money in this way.

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Steelworkers accept 3% pay cut as part of Tata deal with Greybull Capital

Workers have voted to accept a temporary 3% pay cut and changes to terms and conditions as part of the deal to sell Tata Steel's Long Products business to Greybull Capital.

Members of Community, the GMB and Unite backed the changes, aimed at paving the way for the deal, which includes the huge steel plant at Scunthorpe.

Community officer Steve McCool said it was an "extremely difficult" decision, but the vote was a "major step forward" towards securing the future of the business.

The sale to Greybull is a rare piece of positive news for the industry, which is in crisis because of cheap Chinese imports and other issues such as energy costs.

Tata is looking for buyers for the rest of its UK business, including the Port Talbot works in South Wales, with thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.

Greybull Capital considering takeover of Rotherham and Stocksbridge steelworks

An investment company is considering a takeover of South Yorkshire's steel works.

Greybull Capital is already close to a deal with Tata Steel over the possible takeover of its Long Products business in Scunthorpe.

Now it has been reported that the firm is interested in doing a deal that would safeguard the Speciality Steel branch of the business - which produces high-end steel for aircraft, oil drilling and cars from two sites in Rotherham and Stocksbridge.

The news comes as steelworkers in Scunthorpe ballot over the conditions of a possible takeover.

Tata steelworkers' ballot to close today

Cuts could secure future Credit: PA

A ballot of Tata steel workers in Scunthorpe on whether to support cuts to both pay and pension contributions is due to close today.

Employees have had two weeks in which to cast their votes in a ballot which could pave the way for a takeover by Greybull Capital.

Meanwhile, representatives from the major steel producing countries have been holding talks in Brussels to discuss how to deal with the excess capacity which is crippling companies and jeopardising thousands of jobs in our region.

Tata, which has plants in Sheffield and Rotherham, revealed it had contacted 190 potential financial and industrial investors worldwide since launching its sale process a week ago.

And China says it is committed to tackling its overcapacity of steel production which is blamed for the crisis in the UK industry, according to the Government.

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Steelworkers' union: sale is a 'major step forward'

Roy Rickhuss the General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community, said the union welcomed the sale, which was a major step forward towards a deal which would continue steel making in Scunthorpe and secure the future of the Long Products business across the UK.

Greybull's interest in the business is testament to the skills, experience and commitment of UK steelworkers and demonstrates that with the right investors UK steel making can have a positive future. So far, Tata Steel has honoured its commitment to be a responsible seller of the business by allowing time for the deal to be done.

There are still crucial steps to be taken to complete the deal and all parties involved need to retain their focus towards achieving the objective of securing the future of Long Products.

The deal alone will be a huge boost to the UK steel industry but more government action to support our industry will be needed to ensure its sustainable long-term future.

– Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community

Tata Steel sale could safeguard Scunthorpe works

Renewed hope for steelworkers Credit: PA

Tata Steel UK Limited today announced the signing of an agreement to sell its Long Products Europe business to the family investment office, Greybull Capital.

The sale covers several UK-based assets including the Scunthorpe steelworks, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, and associated distribution facilities, as well as a mill in northern France.

The agreement is an important milestone on the road towards continuing steelmaking in Scunthorpe and steel processing in other locations in the UK and France.

The sale for a nominal consideration, would be in exchange for Greybull Capital taking on the whole of the business, including assets and relevant liabilities, and securing an appropriate funding package.

The deal would be completed once a number of outstanding conditions have been resolved, including transfer of contracts, certain Government approvals and the satisfactory completion of financing arrangements. The Long Products Europe business employs 4,800 people – 4,400 in the UK and 400 in France.

Today marks a significant milestone in the sale of the Long Products Europe business. This sale is the best possible outcome for employees who have worked relentlessly to ensure the business’s survival, and helped to make it attractive to a potential buyer.

– Bimlendra Jha, Executive Chairman of the stand-alone Long Products Europe business

Under these current challenging market conditions in Europe with the soaring levels of imports from China, we are happy that Tata Steel UK and Greybull Capital have entered the final stage of completion of the sale of shareholding in Longs Steel UK. This transaction will offer a future for the Long Products Europe business and its 4,400 employees in the UK.

– Hans Fischer, Chief Executive of Tata Steel’s European operation
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Javid: Tata to formally launch sale by Monday

Tata Steel intend to formally launch the sale by Monday, the business secretary said.

Sajid Javid met with the chairman of Tata Steel today in Mumbai as he attempts to find a solution to the collapse of the UK steel industry.

Javid said the UK government "will do everything it can to support a serious buyer in every way we can to secure a long term future of this industry".

Tata have not set a timeframe for the sales process, Javid added, but the company will allow a "reasonable amount of time".

Liberty House founder: majority of jobs would be safe if takeover plan goes ahead

A potential buyer for Tata Steel's UK business says most if not all jobs will be safe if their takeover plan goes ahead.

Liberty House is in talks to buy the struggling steel manufacturer. The business secretary Sajid Javid is in Mumbai today to discuss the sale with Tata Steel bosses.

Founder of Liberty House Sanjeev Gupta told Good Morning Britain that if the company bought Tata Steel's UK business, it would change production from blast furnaces to arc furnaces, which would require a similar number of staff.

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