STEELMAKER Corus, owned by India’s Tata Steel, said it had reached an agreement with Thailand’s SSI on the potential $500m (£322m) sale of its mothballed Teesside plant in northern England.
Corus said in May it had hired Citi to sell the Teesside plant, one of the largest employers in the area. It started a partial closure of the plant in February following its failure to find a long-term partner for the site’s output.
Corus, Europe’s second-largest steelmaker, and SSI said on Friday (August 27) they had signed a memorandum of understanding detailing the scope of a potential sale of Teesside Cast Products in a deal the firms said could create a significant number of jobs.
“This transaction will enable SSI to fulfil its long-standing objective of becoming a fully integrated steel producer with both primary steelmaking and rolling facilities,” SSI President Win Viriyaprapaikit said.
The agreement, if completed, would also set up the Teesside bulk terminal as a joint venture. Corus Chief Executive Kirby Adams said the deal could result in the restart of steelmaking at Teesside in the first half of 2011.
The potential reopening of the plant comes after the steel industry cut output by as much as half during the recession when demand from the construction and auto sectors slumped.
Corus and SSI said talks among the two companies, trade unions and the British government will continue with the aim to finalise a deal as soon as possible.
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