LIBERTY Steel UK takes next steps in its restructuring and transformation plans
In May 2021 LIBERTY Steel UK (LSUK) took the strategic decision to grow and invest in its core GREENSTEEL operation at Rotherham with an ambition to build it into a two million tonne per annum (mtpa) recycling production facility feeding its downstream rolling mills producing both long and flat products.
At the same time LSUK announced it would seek either an outright sale or partnership for its non-core special alloys businesses (High Value Manufacturing, Narrow Strip, Performance Steels and Powder Metals), which produce complex steels for demanding applications in industries such as aerospace and energy. This would allow a more focused and strategic ownership structure which would look to grow this important and valuable business serving marquee customers in aerospace, automotive and other highly engineered applications.
Following a significant injection of shareholder funding and a number of successful targeted production campaigns, LSUK is today launching a consultation with its employees and unions to complete the restructuring of the special alloys businesses in order to enhance their productivity and competitiveness ahead of a possible sale or partnership. This is anticipated to result in a net reduction of approximately 50 roles after factoring in new and vacant roles at its nearby GREENSTEEL operation in Rotherham fuelled by new investment and volume growth.
These reductions are proposed as 162 roles at the High Value Manufacturing Stocksbridge plant and 45 in the Performance Steels business in West Bromwich. At the same time, LSUK will invest in the ramp up of GREENSTEEL production, recycling steel scrap in high volumes into a full range of commercial steels that can meet growing infrastructure demand in the UK and abroad. This will require an increase of potentially up to 161 roles at the Rotherham plant, which with its two electric arc furnaces, remains the anchor plant for LSUK’s GREENSTEEL production.
LSUK is confident that this restructuring will put these businesses on a sustainable footing giving them a strong commercial future in their target markets. LSUK has always sought to minimise the impact of any changes in the business and foresees the potential to mitigate a large percentage of the role reductions by transferring employees to comparable roles at the Rotherham plant. We will continue to invest to restructure and improve LSUK’s business efficiency and to support a responsible sale or partnership of its special alloys businesses.
Jeffrey Kabel, Chief Transformation Officer, LIBERTY Steel Group said: “LIBERTY’s special alloys are unique, high potential businesses, and their quality products are prized by customers in strategic sectors such as aerospace and energy. The steps we’re announcing today will help ensure they are competitive in the future, with job creation at our Rotherham plant enabling us to mitigate a large percentage of role reductions at other sites. It sets a strong platform for LIBERTY’s GREENSTEEL expansion in which we will increase recycling of steel scrap in low carbon electric arc furnaces to meet growing demand in infrastructure and construction.”
Canaccord Genuity Limited has been appointed by LIBERTY Steel Group as its financial adviser to assist in the sale of LSUK’s special alloys businesses.
Further information from:
Head of Communications – UK, GFG Alliance
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Head of Communications – Europe, GFG Alliance
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Note to the editors:
LIBERTY Steel Group, part of the GFG Alliance and a leading GREENSTEEL producer, is a global integrated steel business bringing together assets across the steel supply chain, from production of liquid steel from raw and recycled materials through to high-value precision-engineered steels. With a total rolling capacity of 20 million tonnes, 200+ manufacturing locations globally across 10 countries and employing more than 30,000 people, LIBERTY Steel’s furnaces, mills, services centres and distribution sites across the UK, continental Europe, Australia, the United States and China serve demanding sectors such as construction, energy, aerospace, automotive, and infrastructure. LIBERTY Steel is a leader in sustainable industry with a mission to become Carbon Neutral by 2030 (CN30).
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