Embattled steel firm Liberty has announced plans to sell one of its sites as part of a major restructuring.
The Sanjeev Gupta-owned firm has agreed a refinancing plan after weekend talks with creditors. But the deal will involve the sale of its aerospace and special alloys steel business based at Stocksbridge, near Sheffield.
Liberty said it has made “significant progress” in agreeing a deal to resolve issues between Mr Gupta’s business empire and banking giant Credit Suisse.
The company also said it has started a formal sale process for Coventry’s Liberty Pressing Solutions, and Liberty Aluminium Technologies, with sites in Essex and Kidderminster.
The steel giant was heavily reliant on Greensill Capital, a financing company which went out of business earlier this year, raising worries about Liberty’s future, and the 5,000 people it employs in the UK.
Liberty said that the restructuring of its business would protect thousands of jobs.
As well as its sites in Yorkshire, it has plants in Hartlepool and Scunthorpe, and in Wales and Scotland.
The announcement follows a weekend of meetings in Dubai between Liberty founder Sanjeev Gupta and Swiss bank Credit Suisse.
The two sides have reached a so-called standstill agreement over Liberty Primary Metals Australia.
A company statement said: “As part of this restructuring Liberty will look to sell its aerospace and special alloys steel business in Stocksbridge, which while being a unique, high-quality business servicing marquee customers in aerospace, auto and other highly engineered applications, is not core to the green steel vision of Liberty.
“This sale will allow Liberty to focus on developing its Rotherham plant including its electric arc furnaces into a competitive 2 million tonnes recycled green steel plant, one of the largest in Europe. The plant will make use of some of the millions of tons of steel scrap currently exported by the UK to make more of the quality steel needed in the UK, which is currently being imported.
“Liberty has also already commenced the formal sale process of Liberty Aluminium Technologies and Liberty Pressing Solutions, working collaboratively with the main customers of these plants to find a sustainable home for these quality businesses, which are also non-core to Liberty’s vision of decarbonised green steel.
“A formal sale process for Stocksbridge and its downstream plants, the narrow strip mill at Brinsworth and Performance Steels at West Bromwich will be launched shortly.