STEEL giants Tata have started negotiations for the potential sale of its Long Products Europe business where 6,500 people work.
But company bosses have confirmed the move will not affect Tata Steel’s Hartlepool mills which are in Brenda Road.
The steel giant said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Klesch Group, which is an industrial company which operates across Europe.
The planned sale covers several UK-based sites including Tata Steel’s Scunthorpe steelworks, some mills in Teesside at Lackenby, Skinningrove and Darlington, as well as Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland, an engineering workshop in Workington and a rail consultancy in York, as well as other operations in France and Germany.
But Hartlepool is part of the separate tubes division and is not affected, the Hartlepool Mail has been told by Tata Steel.
Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “We will now move into detailed due diligence and negotiations, though no assurance can be given about the outcome. We will regularly engage with our employees and other stakeholders throughout this process, and we will consult with the trade union representatives and works councils.”
He added: “We are making huge strides on our strategic journey to become a premium, customer-centred steel company thanks to investment in equipment, technology and customers, together with the substantial contributions from our employees.
“We’ve improved the competitiveness of Tata Steel’s European operations, including Long Products Europe which now supplies more of the innovative steel rail, rod, plate, sections and special profile products demanded by customers.”
About 6,500 people are employed at Long Products Europe and its distribution facilities. The giant company employs 30,500 people across Europe, and 17,500 of those are based in the UK.