Liberty House to buy Tata Steel's Scottish assets

Tata Steel UK on Thursday announced it has reached an agreement to sell its Clydebridge and Dalzell steel facilities in Scotland to Liberty House in a transaction involving the Scottish government..

The deal involves the sale of the two plants to the Scottish government, which would then sell them on to Liberty House, a steel and metals group founded by Sanjeev Gupta.

The agreement follows Tata Steel's announcement in October 2015 that it would stop its European plate production, which led to the mothballing of the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants at the end of 2015.

Rather than closing the facilities, Tata Steel has continued to maintain them to enable plate production to potentially restart in the future.

''We welcome this deal which opens the possibility of a resumption of steel processing in Scotland,'' Bimlendra Jha, executive chairman of Tata Steel's Long Products Europe business, said.

''This has been achieved with the determination and support of employees, trade unions and the Scottish Government all working together,'' he added.

The Dalzell plate mill transforms a semi-finished steel slab into a steel plate, while the Clydebridge facility processes steel plate using a quench and tempering technique.

Today's agreement secures the two Scottish plants while Tata Steel continues to negotiate the potential sale of the rest of its Long Products Europe business to Greybull Capital, the company stated in a release.

Liberty House, which also acquired assets from Lord Swraj Paul's Caparo Group last year, as it builds up its portfolio in the UK steel industry, is set to reopen, and invest in the Scottish facilities.

In May last year, Tata Steel created a standalone long products division, which was hailed by unions as a move that would give the business greater flexibility and independence.

But in August, the Klesch Group pulled out of discussions to take over the long products division, blaming it on a failure by the British government to have a comprehensive strategy to tackle domestic and international challenges facing the industry in the UK.