Steel giant seeking buyers for two West Midlands divisions

Tata Steel is looking to find buyers for two of its businesses based in the West Midlands as part of a wider review of the group’s European operations.

Firsteel, which coats steel for kitchen bakeware at its Walsall factory, and Wolverhampton-based Engineering Steels Service Centre, which is a stockholder and processes engineering steels, have both been deemed surplus to requirements.

The group wants to strengthen its focus on strategic strip products and markets, and so is looking to divest itself of its business units which supply products to niche markets.

Hans Fischer, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “These potential sales follow the successful sale of other non-core businesses in recent years, such as Long Products Europe and Speciality Steels.

“Under new ownership these former Tata Steel businesses have found the focus to secure a more sustainable future. In turn, these divestments have allowed us to focus resources on making significant improvements to the core strip business, as part of our ambition to develop the most sustainable steel business in Europe focused on our IJmuiden and Port Talbot value chains.

“The customer bases for the businesses being sold are distinct from the rest of Tata Steel Europe. We want to find the best owner for each of these business units who can focus on their needs to help them realise their full potential.”

The group is also looking to sell three other businesses – Cogent, a steel manufacturer in south Wales, Sweden and Canada, German aluminium business Kalzip, and Turkish coil coating company Tata Steel Istanbul Metals.

The five businesses up for sale employ a total of 1,100 people. Tata Steel Europe would continue to employ about 20,000 people manufacturing advanced products for the automotive, construction, engineering and packaging sectors.

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