Tata Steel today said it has signed definitive agreement with Liberty House Group to sell its Submerged Arc Weld (SAW) mills at Hartlepool in the UK for an undisclosed sum. The sale agreement covers the 42-inch and 84-inch pipe mills, also known as the SAW mills, where about 140 employees manufacture pipeline for gas and oil projects around the world, the company said in a statement. Tata Steel, however, said it would retain its 20-inch tube mill at the same Hartlepool site, where a further 270 people work. “With this sale, Tata Steel UK will complete its portfolio restructuring to focus on the strip products supply chain linked to Port Talbot,” Tata Steel UK CEO Bimlendra Jha said.
The sale is also an important step towards developing a more sustainable future for the rest of our UK business, he added. The two parties will work to complete consultations with employees and trade unions, as well as transfer of supplier and customer contracts. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few months, the statement said. Earlier in February, Tata Steel had announced signing a definitive agreement to sell Speciality Steel business in the UK to Liberty House Group for 100 million pounds (about Rs 840 crore).
Tata Steel said the two SAW mills to be sold to Liberty Group are fed with steel plate sourced from outside Tata Steel and hence are independent of the company’s strip products supply chain. With a view to strengthen its 20-inch mill, Tata Steel said it will invest one million pound to increase capability to make high-strength steel tubes. The 20-inch mill is supplied with steel coils from Tata Steel’s European steelworks and is part of its strip products supply chain.
Tata Steel said it would continue to be the largest steelmaker in Britain even after the sale of the mills and will employ almost 8,500 people in the UK, manufacturing advanced products for sectors like automotive and construction. The company has invested more than £1.6 billion in its UK business since acquiring Corus in 2007, including 100 million pounds over the last year to enable advanced steel manufacturing in a number of UK sites, it added.