Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sale brings hope to steelworkers

Job prospects for 2,000 steelworkers on Teesside have been boosted by a deal to sell a stake in a Corus subsidiary.

Two existing customers, Marcegaglia of Italy and Dongkuk of South Korea, have agreed to take a majority holding in Teesside Cast Products.

The company in Redcar has been run as a separate entity since restructuring by Corus in 2005.

The value of the deal, announced on Thursday, has not been disclosed. Corus will retain a minority stake.

We have a highly skilled workforce producing a first class steel
Councillor George Dunning

There will now be commercial "due diligence" checks before the acquisition is finalised.

Although the Teesside site was not affected by the 2,500 job cuts recently announced by Corus, staff faced an uncertain future because of its desire to reduce its stake in the business.

Corus director Phil Dryden said: "The proposed change of ownership fits the business plans of all participants and will significantly improve prospects for the further long-term development of steelmaking on Teesside."

Councillor George Dunning, leader of Redcar and Cleveland council, welcomed the news.

He said: "Having seen many changes in my 30 years in the Teesside steel industry, one hopes that the staff will have security of employment with the latest proposed change.

"Here on Teesside we have a highly skilled workforce producing a first class steel product."

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