British Steel has insisted it has the liquidity to keep trading after days of speculation over whether it would receive a government loan needed to keep it afloat.
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On Tuesday, it emerged Britain’s second-largest steel manufacturer was looking to Whitehall for a support package, believed to be as much as £75m, citing “Brexit-related issues”.
In an update, a spokesperson for the firm said this evening it had the backing of its key stakeholders, including shareholders and lenders, “and operations continue as normal”.
“As the business navigates the significant uncertainties caused by Brexit, and explores options to strengthen the business for the long term, we are pleased to confirm that we have the required liquidity while we work towards a permanent solution.
The department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) said it was still working with the firm, and would not say if such a loan had yet been granted. British Steel said it was “grateful” for the support the British government had provided to date.
The industrial giant’s plea earlier this week came just over a fortnight after the company was handed £120m by the government to pay an EU carbon emissions bill, dodging a fine of more than £600m from the bloc.
It was immediately followed by calls for the government to save the firm, along with its employees.
The private equity-owned British Steel employs around 5,000 people at its Scunthorpe steelworks and various other sites, and supports about 20,000 more jobs indirectly in its supply chain.