UK Official Receiver widens British Steel acquisition scope

Talks to complete the sale of British Steel to Turkey’s Ataer Holdings A.S. are to continue, the UK Official Receiver’s office tells Kallanish. The Official Receiver has now indicated a willingness to talk to other parties interested in acquiring the steelmaker, following the end of the period of exclusivity with the Ataer Group this week.

“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. I have instructed the Special Managers to engage with these additional interested parties. Diligence team members from these parties are expected to visit the company’s sites over the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile Ataer remain very much interested in acquiring the business and we remain in detailed discussions with them to conclude a sale,” the Official Receiver says.

“I remain focussed on achieving a sale of the business and assets of British Steel as quickly as possible, to achieve the best possible outcome for the Company’s creditors. The conclusion of the exclusivity period allows us to consider all of the options available at this point in the process. I would like to thank the team at British Steel for their continued support and hard work during this period of uncertainty,” the Official Receiver adds.

Market chatter two weeks ago suggested that the Chinese steelmaker Jingye had thrown its cap into the bidding circle. One source with knowledge of the negotiations told Kallanish however that the Ataer deal was still on course for completion.