Team seals steel site deal

EXPERTS from DLA Piper’s Sheffield office helped seal the deal which saw the Corus Teesside Cast Products site sold to Thai steel giant SSI and valued the business at £291m.

DLA Piper represented Tata Steel and provided specialist real estate and safety, health and environmental advice.

The sale of the site means more than 700 jobs have been secured and Neil Slater, partner in DLA Piper’s real estate team said: “The sale of this site is exceptional news for the Teesside region, not only saving hundreds of jobs but bringing potential for ongoing employment opportunities and greater contributions to the local economy.

“Our Sheffield office has a particular affiliation with the steel industry so the resumption of steelmaking at this historic site makes it all the more rewarding.”

The site includes more than 2000 acres of part freehold, part leasehold land and approximately a third of this has been transferred to SSI. Working closely with third parties including Crown, Network Rail and PD Teesport Ltd, DLA Piper’s team advised on the transfer of freeholds and the grant of long and short term leases and ownership of the gas, electricity and water services.

In particular there were a number of complex arrangements put in place to deal with environmental liabilities and operational continuity. The team had to provide innovative solutions to land condition, permit and compliance issues.

Teresa Hitchcock, a Sheffield partner and head of the UK’s Safety Health and Environment Group for DLA Piper, said: “This has been a very exciting and demanding project to be involved in. The site had been temporarily mothballed a little over a year ago and in the interim, there has been a great deal of work and negotiation between all parties to safeguard the factory going forward.”

The safety, health and environmental work was conducted by Teresa Hitchcock, Ailish Oxenforth, Anna Naylor, Noy Trounson and Matthew Shaw.

DLA Piper’s real estate team was led by Neil Slater and Mark Keeling.

The assets included in the sale include the Redcar Blast Furnace, the Redcar and South Bank coke ovens and Teesside Cast Product’s power generation facilities. This is in addition to the Lackenby steel making and casting facilities.

Tata will now remain one of the largest employers in the area, with a total workforce of more than 1800 people. The deal has also resulted in a joint venture with Redcar Wharf, Teesside Cast Product’s bulk terminal, which will now be run by Tata.