13 April 2016

Forsters advises Greybull Capital on Tata Steel UK acquisition

Forsters' top ranked Corporate team has advised longstanding client Greybull Capital in acquiring the Longs Products steel business from Tata Steel UK.

A team at Forsters' Corporate practice, led by partner Craig Thompson, has advised Greybull Capital in relation to the acquisition of the Longs Products steel business from Tata Steel UK. This hugely significant deal represents a positive step forward for the UK steel industry, and has been critical in securing the employment and future of the 4,700 workers, based at the Scunthorpe steelworks and other processing facilities in the UK and northern France.

Greybull Capital has a strong track record in advising on the acquisition of UK business', such as budget airline Monarch, the convenience stores of WM Morrison and Plessey Semiconductors. In each of these instances Greybull Capital has identified an opportunity to create real value through investing in strong management teams and creating a long term investment strategy.

Forsters has advised, as part of this deal, on the acquisition of seven steelworks sites in Scunthorpe from Tata Steel UK. Greybull Capital will also acquire two mills in Teeside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, associated distribution facilities and a mill in northern France. Greybull will rename the business British Steel.

For over six months, Craig Thompson has led a multi-disciplinary team including Alastair Laing and Aaron Morris (Corporate), Victoria Edwards (Banking & Finance), Helen Streeton (Commercial Real Estate) and Rachel Sandham (Employment).  The team worked closely together to advise Greybull Capital in this significant and complex acquisition.  Craig and his team will continue to provide legal advice in relation to up to £400 million investment into the new business, British Steel, comprised of Greybull's investment funds and new bank finance.

The deal is expected to close in four to six weeks.

Craig Thompson, Corporate Partner at Forsters, said: Greybull are a committed investor with a healthy track record of working closely with the businesses and management teams they select to design and implement a responsible yet commercial strategy to create value. They will bring insight and vision to the Longs Steel project by taking a long term view and working closely with the excellent management team already in place.

This has been an interesting and rewarding matter for Forsters to advise on and it is exciting to help Greybull with each new investment. We have been able to draw upon our sector experts in corporate, finance and real estate to help Greybull secure a future for British Steel."

Slaughter and May advised Tata Steel UK.

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