Thousands of jobs are on the brink of being saved after a steelmaking subsidiary of the Turkish military pension fund reached a tentative deal to buy British Steel.
Ataer Holdings is now in talks with the Official Receiver, and hopes to take over the firm by the end of the year.
British Steel supplies 95% of the UK’s railtracks, but collapsed into insolvency in May - less than three years after it was bought by private equity group Greybull Capital for a nominal £1 in 2016.
5,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 jobs in the supply line were all at risk if the troubled steelmaker had been forced to close its remaining plants at Grimsby and Teesside plants including Skinningrove and Lackenby.
The government, the workforce and trade unions, the rail and construction industry, and politicians from all sides worked around the clock to keep British Steel afloat while a potential buyer was found.
Several bids were subsequently received for the company, and the agreement now signed between Ataer Holdings and the Official Receiver sees the preferred buyer in exclusive talks to confirm their intention to take on the steel making business and its subsidiaries.
The Official Receiver said: “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. 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. I would like to thank all employees, suppliers and customers for their continued support which has been essential to get to this point.”