Tata in talks over steel plants sale

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Strat­ton Wil­liams

A pos­si­ble buyer has emerged for un­der-threat Cly­de­bridge and Dalzell steel plants.

But it is still un­clear if any deal would be enough to save them.

Tata Steel is in ex­clu­sive talks to sell its Long Prod­ucts busi­ness to ven­ture cap­i­tal firm, Grey­bull Cap­i­tal.

The busi­ness in­cludes the Cly­de­bridge plant in Cam­bus­lang and Dalzell in Mother­well which are to be moth­balled with the loss of 270 jobs.

But unions have warned that Grey­bull’s busi­ness plan does not in­clude the Scots plants.

Steve McCool, na­tional of­fi­cer at steel­work­ers’ union Com­mu­nity, said the prospect of a deal with Grey­bull would not nec­es­sar­ily guar­an­tee the La­nark­shire plants’ fu­ture.

He said the ven­ture cap­i­tal firm’s busi­ness plan did not in­clude work car­ried out at the Scot­tish plants.

Mr McCool said that a Scot­tish-only busi­ness model had been put for­ward by the unions which showed both plants were vi­able.

The union’s gen­eral sec­re­tary, Roy Rick­huss, wel­comed the in­ter­est from Grey­bull but said “the devil will be in the de­tail”.

He said: “It is clear from to­day’s an­nounce­ment that any fu­ture for the Dalzell and Cly­de­bridge mills in Scot­land will be with a dif­fer­ent in­vestor.

Mar­garet Fer­rier MP for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West gave the de­vel­op­ment a cau­tious wel­come.

“The news com­ing from Tata over the last few days has been pos­i­tive,” she said.

“While this de­vel­op­ment is wel­come, the dis­cus­sions be­tween Grey­bull Cap­i­tal and Tata are still at a very early stage.”

Scot­tish Labour’s James Kelly said he has been in­vited to a brief­ing next Tues­day at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion.

“The SNP gov­ern­ment should pro­vide ab­so­lute clar­ity as soon as pos­si­ble over the long-term fu­ture of the plants and raise the is­sue with the pro­posed buyer as a mat­ter of ur­gency,” he said.

“I will cer­tainly be press­ing for this at the brief­ing.”

Scot­land’s Busi­ness Min­is­ter Fer­gus Ewing said: “While the de­vel­op­ment is po­ten­tially wel­come, the agree­ment be­tween Tata Steel and Grey­bull Cap­i­tal is still at a very early stage and there can be no guar­an­tees it will pro­ceed - or that it will lead to a se­cure fu­ture for jobs at the plants in­volved.

“I am seek­ing an early meet­ing to de­ter­mine the pre­cise im­pli­ca­tions for pro­duc­tion and jobs at the Dalzell and Cly­de­bridge plants.”

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