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British Steel deal in doubt

By Philip Smith

Turkish investor's time to close a deal has almost run out

British Steel deal in doubt

Hopes are fading that Turkish investor Ataer Holding will conclude a deal to save British Steel ahead of today’s deadline.

British Steel has been kept operational since May by the UK government while a buyer for the firm, including the Scunthorpe steel works, could be found. Reports put the number of jobs at risk as 5,000 directly and a further 20,000 in the supply chain if there is no buyer.

Ataer’s reported proposal include acquiring land for new buildings as part of plans which could not only save these jobs but create new ones if a deal is completed.

The government granted Ataer exclusive right to seek a deal last August, with a deadline of today to finalise. Yesterday The Official Receiver said talks with other potential bidders would be allowed.

The Official Receiver added: "While discussions with Ataer are continuing, discussions with other parties who have expressed continued and renewed interest in acquiring the whole British Steel business will now be possible.”

Ataer seemed a good fit to acquire the troubled company as it already owns nearly 50 per cent of Turkey's biggest steel producer, Erdemir. However, the BBC reports that Liberty House is likely to rekindle its interest in buying British Steel. The company owns facilities in Rotherham and Stocksbridge, both in South Yorkshire, and employs 5,500 people across some 30 sites in the UK,

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