British Steel bidders stepping up: Official Receiver

A number of potential British Steel bidders have already signed non-disclosure agreements related to bids to be submitted by early June, the Official Receiver — the government body overseeing the company’s liquidation — told S&P Global Platts on Thursday.

The Official Receiver declined to disclose how many offers have been received, but market sources said several companies have expressed interest in the company.

British Steel is the second-largest UK steel producer, with around 3 million mt/year of steel design capacity in the UK, France and the Netherlands. Last year, the company produced 2.7 million mt of liquid steel and saw sales of 2.6 million mt.

It entered into compulsory liquidation on May 22, but the company will continue to trade and supply its customers while the Official Receiver considers options for the business. For now, according to the BBC, the government is covering the firm’s wage bill. However, if the Official Receiver fails to find a buyer, British Steel could be wound up and redundancies would follow.

Buyers are said to be interested in the company not only because of its size, but also its assets produce attractive niche products. The main one is the one Scunthorpe, where British Steel produces rails and supplies 96% of the UK rail network’s steel rail requirements.

— Annalisa Villa