Following a conference call with the British Steel Support Group this morning, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, said:
“I have just been on a conference call with Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom and EY as Special Managers to discuss the latest on British Steel.
“There are three steelmakers in the running to buy the entire British Steel business which is really positive news. We need that understanding of the industry and commitment to its future which was totally lacking from Greybull.
“Subject to the completion of ongoing due diligence, we are expecting an announcement within a few days on an exclusivity agreement being signed with the preferred bidder. A number of weeks of further due diligence will then follow.
“I asked for assurances that the whole company will be kept together without cherry-picking. The Secretary of State and EY confirmed this is still the priority. Everyone is working flat out to progress the sale to the next stage. Optimism that this can be achieved soon remains high.
“The business continues to operate well, receiving positive support from customers and the supply chains. The summer shutdown of Teesside Beam Mill went well and planning is now going ahead for the same maintenance period at Scunthorpe. There is obviously a desire across the board, especially the longer this process takes, for reassurance and security and everyone is working to reach that stage as quickly as possible.
“We also discussed the commitments we would like to see from any buyer, including investment in the assets, enhanced training, and protection of the terms and conditions of the workforce. Long term commitment to the business and the UK steel industry is a priority too.
“Thank you to everyone, especially the workforce, for the hard work and patience during this challenging and uncertain time. Without this, the prospects of a successful sale would not be so strong. I hope we will have a further positive announcement to make soon.”