Thai company in Corus talks

Posted on 10 May 2010 by The Manufacturer

Corus has reportedly entered into discussions with Thai steel company SSI regarding the sale of its mothballed Teeside blast furnace.

According to The Sunday Times, the steelmaker which is currently owned by Tata of India, is understood to be in negotiations with SSI (Sahaviriya Steel Industries) regarding the Teeside plants.

The talks are still at an early stage it is thought some government assistance would be required to assist the Thai firm’s inward investment in Britain.

About 1,700 workers were made redundant late last year but hopes have now been raised that many of those jobs may be saved. The mill is one of the largest private-sector employers in the area. Unions and MPs have accused Corus management, led by chief executive Kirby Adams, of not trying hard enough to find a new buyer or secure customers for the mill’s products.

SSI was set up 20 years ago as Thailand’s first maker of hot-rolled coil steel, which is crucial in the making of consumer goods. It is now Thailand’s largest steel producer.

If SSI succeeds in buying the Teesside plant, it will be the second Asian steelmaker to purchase former British Steel assets. Tata Steel bought Corus in 2007, paying £6.7 billion at the height of a boom in steel prices.