HS2

01.07.19

Network Rail submits indicative bid for troubled British Steel

Railway infrastructure company Network Rail have submitted an indicative bid to take over parts of British Steel in an attempt to save the troubled business.

The state-owned company are concerned about disruption to the rail network if British Steel were to permanently close.  

Network Rail plan to go ahead with the bid if no other buyers can be found, and would want to take over management of welding, finishing and storing rails for the UK’s rail network.

It’s been reported that up to 10 organisations could bid for the takeover of the company, but Network Rail’s reluctant bid comes as a significant intervention.

Commenting on the surprise bid, a spokesperson for Network Rail said: “We continue to support British Steel, working with the liquidator and any new owner of the company.

“We have made an indicative offer for some railway critical assets, although our overwhelming preference is that a purchaser for the entire business is found.

“We are very clear that our offer will not undermine that. Our role is to safely run the railway for the millions of people who rely on it every day and we are exploring all options to make sure we can continue to do that.”

british steel (Danny Lawson, PA Images)

The government have said they would prefer to sell the company in its entirety to a single buyer, instead of Network Rail’s proposal to management specific areas.

British Steel entered administration in May after talks between their former owners and the government fell through.

The firm was loaned £100m by the government in April to pay off an EU carbon bill, but it is widely believed competition from overseas has left the business struggling to cope.

The closure of British Steel could put 25,000 jobs at risk, many of them in the supply chain for the manufacturer.

(Pictures Danny Lawson/PA Images & Gareth Fuller/PA Images)

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