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Barrett Steel’s £13 million deal rescues Aartee Bright Bar but job losses loom

Aartee Bright Bar

Barrett Steel acquires Aartee Bright Bar in £13 million rescue deal but Dudley plant will close

Barrett Steel has paid £13 million for distribution sites held by troubled company Aartee Bright Bar, which has saved more than 170 jobs.

However, a hot-rolled steel plant in Dudley was not included in the sale, resulting in the loss of 45 jobs and the closure of the factory.

The administrators’ purchase includes Aartee Bright Bar’s distribution companies in Rugby, Bolton, Newport, and Southampton, as well as its facility in Willenhall, West Midlands.

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Aartee Bright Bar Property’s freehold and leasehold holdings at these sites are also included in the buyout.

Barrett Engineering Steel Rugby, Barrett Engineering Steel Bolton, Barrett Engineering Steel Newport, and Barrett Engineering Steel South are the new names for the purchased sites.

Barrett Steel, based in Bradford, runs a number of steel stockholding companies and divisions across the UK, serving customers all over the globe, and this rescue deal has added 173 new employees to the company.

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It expands the sixth-generation family company’s network to 35 locations across the UK, giving Barrett Steel an ideal base to further service and assist customers in the Midlands, South West, North West, and Wales.

Chief executive Andy Warcup said: “This acquisition will add to the strength and capabilities of our existing engineering steel businesses so that we are able to deliver exceptional service to our customers. We are excited to welcome the Aartee team to our group.”

In February, Alvarez & Marsal was named as administrators for Aartee Bright Bar and Aartee Bright Bar Property.

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Last week, a judge ordered that Aartee Bright Bar’s immediate UK holding company, Aartee Steel Group, should be forced into liquidation.

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance division, which operates Liberty Steel, was closely associated with Aartee Bright Bar.

GFG Alliance purchased Aartee Bright Bar’s owner, Aartee Group Pte, shortly after the appointment of administrators and submitted an application to challenge the administration, but ultimately failed in its attempt to save the business.

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Joint administrator Michael Magnay said: “This substantial investment from Barrett Steel is a vote of confidence in the business and the wider UK steel industry.

“The companies’ creditors will now receive a substantial dividend and will have the opportunity to trade with the new business going forward.

“We are grateful to the employees and creditors for their support and understanding during this process, and to Barrett Steel for its commitment to the deal.”

SourceBusiness Live

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