Tata Steel to Sell U.K. Specialty Business to Liberty House

  • Companies were in exclusive discussions since November
  • 100 million-pound sale is part of Tata efforts to reduce debt

Tata Steel Ltd. agreed to sell its U.K. specialty steels business to Liberty House Group for 100 million pounds ($126 million) as the Indian producer continues to divest unprofitable U.K. assets.

The agreement includes the Rotherham electric-arc steelworks, a steel-purifying facility in Stocksbridge, a mill in Brinsworth and service centers in the U.K. and China, Tata Steel said in an exchange filing Thursday. The company has been in exclusive talks with Liberty House since November about the specialty business, which produces steel for the aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas industries.

The sale is part of Tata Steel’s efforts to pare its debt, which is the highest among steel producers in India. The Mumbai-based company has been seeking to sell or turn around its U.K. operations after years of losses, and is talking with Thyssenkrupp AG and other companies for a joint venture of its European operations.

In December, the company struck a deal with unions to secure future production and jobs at Port Talbot in Wales and other U.K. sites, even as it seeks to close a pension plan.

Tata Steel continues to support its U.K. business, in which it has invested 1.5 billion pounds since buying Corus Group Plc in 2007, and is working with employees on a number of proposals to reduce risks, it said in the statement. The company is also in discussions with the British Steel Pension Scheme trustee and the pension regulator.

Liberty House agreed last year to buy Tata Steel’s Clydebridge and Dalzell facilities in Scotland. The steelmaker has also sold its Scunthorpe steelworks in England, as well as mills in Teesside and France to Greybull Capital LLP.

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