Firm, which employs 4,500 people, seeks £75m support two weeks after £120m loan
'British Steel is seeking emergency funds from the government, blaming politicians’ failure to strike a Brexit deal for a crisis that leaves one of the UK’s last two steelworks – and 4,500 staff – facing an uncertain future.
The company, which owns the Scunthorpe steelworks, is in rescue talks with its lenders over a £75m rescue package that is understood to be at risk of falling apart unless the government contributes.
British Steel blamed “Brexit-related issues” for its difficulties, with one source saying orders from increasingly anxious customers in the European Union had “dried up”.
The government is thought to have drafted contingency plans after lenders to the company, which is owned by private equity group Greybull Capital, said they would consider putting it into administration if no money was forthcoming.
The crisis at British Steel comes less than a fortnight after the government provided it with an emergency £120m loan to cover a bill from the EU for its carbon dioxide emissions.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it could not comment on speculation about its role in any rescue talks.
However, a British Steel spokesperson said: “The uncertainties around Brexit are posing challenges for all businesses including British Steel and we are holding constructive discussions with our stakeholders on how to navigate them.”
The spokesperson said the company was in talks about “a package of additional support to assist the company address broader Brexit-related issues, while continuing with its investment plans”.'
Read more: British Steel asks for state help to avert 'Brexit related' crisis