Tata Steel to sell UK steel pipe unit to liberty
Tata Steel is selling its Hartlepool unit in the UK to Liberty House Group for an undisclosed price. The Hartlepool facility makes steel pipes for the oil and gas industry and employs about 140 people. With this sale, expected to be concluded within the next few months, Tata Steel completes the restructuring of its British operations.
The company will now focus on its other units in the UK which include a tube mill (also in Hartlepool) and strip products facility in Port Talbot. Tata Steel will invest one million pounds in the Hartlepool tube mill, which employs 270 people, to strengthen its capabilities, it said in a statement. The Indian company also operates a seven-million-tonne plant in the Netherlands.
In 2016, Tata Steel had said that it is pursuing a joint venture with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp to combine its Port Talbot and Netherlands business with the latter’s European operations. Foreign media reported that the Hartlepool tube mill, which Tata Steel has retained, could also be part of the potential merger with Thyssenkrupp.
Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK, said: “The sale (of Hartlepool steel pipe unit to Liberty) is an important step towards developing a more sustainable future for the rest of our UK business.” Following the transaction, the Indian company retains its position as UK’s largest steelmaker with 8,500 people on its rolls.
The Hartlepool steel pipe unit will be Liberty’s third asset purchase from Tata Steel. Headed by Indian-born businessman Sanjeev Gupta, Liberty had earlier bought Tata Steel’s specialty steels business in UK and processing mills in Scotland.