Liberty House Group today revealed it will acquire two Tata Steel pipe mills in Hartlepool.
The international industrials and metals group signed a provisional agreement to buy Britain's largest steel pipe mills, marking its third major steelworks acquisition in just over a week.
The 42-inch and 84-inch longitudinal submerged arc welded (LSAW) pipe mills make heavy-duty steel pipe for the energy, power and construction industries in the UK and worldwide. They have a combined production capacity of over 250,000 tonnes a year.
"The Hartlepool pipes business has faced difficulties in recent times due to the downturn in the UK oil and gas sector but we are eager to begin working with management and staff here to regain former market share and explore expansion into new areas," said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of Liberty House.
"These mills can be a symbol of a new Britain, integrated with the world economy, exporting a world-class product globally once again. We aim to engage with all customers of the business locally and internationally to regain our market share," Gupta said.
Liberty will conclude discussions on a support package with a range of stakeholders to help facilitate the protection of the remaining 140 jobs at the mills and the recruitment of more staff.
Today's announcement follows Liberty's acquisition of Tata Steel's Specialty Steels business, which was announced in February, and its purchase of the Caparo Merchant Bar mills at Scunthorpe. It also comes just days after GFG Alliance, which Liberty is a part of, announced of a deal to acquire Australia's flagship integrated steel producer, the Arrium Group.
The addition of the Hartlepool pipe mills will bring Liberty’s UK workforce to nearly 5,000 people across more than 30 sites, making it one of Britain's largest industrial employers. It will also benefit its plate mills in Scotland, which will be able to supply steel plate to the Hartlepool pipe mills.
Gupta said the pipe mills will spur investments in Hartlepool and in its upstream plate mills.