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4,400 jobs saved as Tata Steel announces long products sale

More than 4,000 steelworker jobs could be saved after Tata Steel agreed the sale of its European long products arm, including its Scunthorpe plant, to private equity firm Greybull Capital.

Exclusive talks over a sale began last December, two months after production was halted at Tata’s Scunthorpe plant, as well as at two Scottish mills, resulting in 1,200 job losses.

The Scottish mills – based in Dalzell and Clydebridge – have not been included in the deal.

The sale, for “a nominal consideration”, will see Greybull take on the assets and liabilities of the long products division and is contingent on the buyer “securing an appropriate funding package”.

Tata’s European long products division employs 4,400 people in the UK and 400 in France.

Besides the Scunthorpe facility, the deal also includes two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a York-based design consultancy, and associated distribution facilities.

Executive chairman of the long products business Bimlendra Jha said: “Today marks a significant milestone in the sale of the Long Products Europe business. This sale is the best possible outcome for employees who have worked relentlessly to ensure the business’s survival, and helped to make it attractive to a potential buyer.”

The deal comes as Tata formally launched the sale process for the rest of its UK plants, following its announcement last month that it would look for a buyer for the loss-making business.

The announcement has led to fears that as many as 17,000 jobs could be lost unless a buyer is found.

Business secretary Sajid Javid will address MPs later today (Monday) with an update on the steel crisis.

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