European industrial giant Thyssenkrupp on Monday said it had received an updated offer for its steel division from Rotherham works owner Liberty Steel.
“The company will now carefully examine this offer,” a spokesman for Thyssenkrupp said.
Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel began looking at Thyssenkrupp’s books late last year after a November non-binding indicative offer for Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.
Thyssenkrupp is looking to sell assets after announcing more than 11,000 jobs would go last year.
Central to the firm’s problems is its steelmaking division, which crashed to a loss of nearly €1bn over the year.
Thyssenkrupp said that a decision would be taken on the next steps for the division in the spring.
Thyssenkrupp, which sources have said is also considering a spin-off of its steel division, said it would now carefully examine what Liberty Steel says is a “firmed up bid”.
A successful bid by Gupta could create synergies of €200-300m, analysts at Deutsche Bank estimate, lower than in a potential tie-up for the Thyssenkrupp business with Tata Steel’s European unit but higher than in a deal with Sweden’s SSAB.
This will partly be achieved by better utilising Thyssenkrupp’s steel production sites while cutting Liberty Steel’s dependence on roughly 3m tonnes of hot rolled coil it needs to buy each year.
To woo sceptical workers, Liberty Steel has agreed to guarantee equal board representation for labour and shareholders under Germany’s coal-and steel co-determination system, a source close to the process said.