The Turkish investment arm, also known as Oyak, is the preferred bidder of the company which recently went into insolvency. Oyak now has weeks to complete the purchase. Sky News has reported the buyout is subject to an eight-week period of due diligence and a £300million aid package from the Government.
British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation in May and the Official Receiver was appointed.
The collapse put 5,000 UK jobs at risk.
British Steel has 3,000 workers in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, and another 800 across the north east of England.
British Steel is about to be bought by the Turkish army’s pension fund
Bosses from the Turkish group are now in talks with UK officials.
British Steel collapsed earlier this summer when the Government decided against giving a £30million cash injection to the company.
At the time it was run by Greybull Capital.
In a statement Ataer Holding said the company was in exclusive talks over a buyout for the next two months.
A detailed legal, financial and operation review is now being undertaken.
British Steel’s based in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
The statement said: “During the exclusivity period, close negotiations to be held with customers, suppliers, employees and trade unions is significant for the future success of British Steel.”
Almost 80 bidders have expressed an interest in British Steel, Ataer Holding has revealed.
The talks are concerning the whole of the UK company.
The Official Receiver said in a statement: “Following discussions with a number of potential purchasers for the British Steel group over the past few weeks I am pleased to say I have now received an acceptable offer from Ataer Holdings A.S. for the purchase of the whole business and I am now focusing on finalising the sale.
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“I will be looking to conclude this process in the coming weeks, during which time British Steel continues to trade and supply its customers as normal.”
The news received a mixed reaction on Twitter.
Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, said: “Great news that Turkish army pension fund will buy British Steel, but why doesn’t our Government see the benefit to the UK and take them into public ownership?”
Lib Dem councillor for Kendall West, Matthew Severn, wrote: “Given the crimes it commits in Kurdish villages and its own prisons, I dont think the military arm of the Turkish state should be allowed to buy British Steel.
“Our own state should buy it, and safeguard it for an alternative buyer in the future.”
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One Twitter use wrote: “The state of this ONCE great country….the latest load of BS, #BritishSteel now owned by the Turkish Military Pension Fund…..you couldn’t make it up!”
Another wrote: “Anyone else find it kind of amusing that a Turkish military pension fund could possibly save british steel?”
And another wrote: “Ask yourself, would Lady Thatcher have sold British Steel to the Turkish Army pension fund with a government bung?”
Following the news, OYAK general manager Suleyman Savas Erdem said: “We have achieved one of the biggest achievements of the Turkish steel industry and signed a preliminary agreement to buy the industrial giant of UK, British Steel.
“We will continue to evaluate opportunities globally inline with our growth-oriented vision and we will continue our investments to provide sustainable high benefit to our members.”