Liberty renews talks for British Steel takeover: report

While exclusive talks continued between the Official Receiver and preferred bidder Turkey’s OYAK over the sale of British Steel, Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House Group, which is part of his family holding company GFG Alliance, has in recent days held fresh talks about buying the UK’s second-biggest steel producer, according to UK-based Sky News.

The discussions had accelerated ahead of the expiry later this week of an exclusivity period granted by the Official Receiver to Ataer Holding, a subsidiary of Turkey’s Oyak, Sky News said citing sources.

While exclusive talks continued between the Official Receiver and OYAK over the sale of the UK-based steelmaker, Chinese steelmaker Jingye Group also approached the UK government with a fresh offer for British Steel at the beginning of October, as reported.

The Official Receiver told S&P Global Platts Tuesday that they are continuing to engage with the preferred bidder.

“We have seen media reports regarding other interested parties speaking with other parts of government about their interest British Steel, but we are unable to confirm those reports,” he noted.

A company source at OYAK Holding, the biggest complementary pension fund in Turkey, which signed an exclusivity agreement in mid-August to buy British Steel, told Platts late last week that the open-ended negotiations for the takeover are ongoing. 

According to an OYAK statement previously sent to Platts, after the successful completion of a detailed inspection process at the end of October, the handover was expected to be held by year-end. Turkish military pension fund OYAK is Ataer Holding’s parent company, which is the largest shareholder in Erdemir, the nation’s biggest steel producer.

British Steel, which went into compulsory liquidation on May 22, has about 3 million mt/year of production capacity in the UK, France and the Netherlands.

— Cenk Can and Annalisa Villa