Talks taking place with potential buyers over collapsed steel firm

MTL's site at Grange Lane, Rotherham
MTL's site at Grange Lane, Rotherham
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Discussions are taking place with potential buyers over the sale of a financially-troubled South Yorkshire steel firm, administrators have revealed.

Rotherham-based MTL Group collapsed into administration earlier this month, resulting in the immediate loss of 157 jobs.

A further 146 jobs could go at the metal manufacturing specialist unless a new owner can be found. A spokesman for Ernst & Young, who have been appointed to oversee the administration process, said it is hoped the business can be sold as a going concern.

He said: “The administrators are continuing to trade the business and seek buyers. Customers are continuing to support the business by placing orders, and there has been interest from various parties in acquiring the business and assets as a going concern.

“This interest and discussions with regard to the sale of the business are at an early stage and the administrators will make further announcements when appropriate.”

MTL Group’s move into administration was blamed on the loss of a large overseas defence contract and cash flow problems. In December, the company made around 35 to 40 redundancies. Managing director Henry Shirman said at the time the firm had its ‘strongest order book’ in history.

Prior to its financial problems coming to light, the business had been visited by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in November, who praised it as an example of the successful work of the British manufacturing industry.

Both Mr Clegg and Rotherham MP Sarah Champion have subsequently called for ‘everything possible’ to be done to save the business.