Why has SG bought Tata Steel plants to sell them on ‘for the same consideration’ to Liberty House?

So what’s the deal here?

Why was it a deal maker for the Scottish Government to buy the two mothballed Tata Steel plants in order to sell them on at once to LIbry House for what First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has described as ‘the same consideration; and which has been defended as involving ‘no cost to the taxpayer’?

This seems an extraordinarily convoluted way of doing things – if there is no advantage to Liberty House; and frankly, if public money to subsidise the deal, ahead of the Scottish Election in six weeks time, has not played a part?

Might there have been debt obligations involved that the Scottish Government has agreed to shoulder by being the immediate buyer – and then selling on to Liberty House only the plants themselves?

Weasel words could comfortably describe such a deal as ‘for the same consideration’, in a silent reference to the cost of the plants alone.  In such a scenario, ‘No cost to the taxpayer’, would be a fully disingenuous spin.

Any other ideas?

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Clean-up liability. No cost today, potentially huge cost tomorrow.

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    keith stanger March 24, 2016 7:44 pm Reply
    • For the Scottish taxpayer of course

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      keith stanger March 24, 2016 7:51 pm Reply
  • I am sure it was for a very good reason which will come to light in due course and make Newsie look very stupid (again)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 21

    Longshanks March 24, 2016 7:52 pm Reply
    • You keep waiting Longshanks – meanwhile the rest of us will ask the questions and seek the answers.

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      JB March 24, 2016 11:00 pm Reply
  • The reason given was that it was to speed up the deal and the announcement was slipped in at the close of Parliament, Sturgeon must think we are idiots.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 13

    richard March 24, 2016 8:09 pm Reply
    • Rumour has it that Sturgeon only thinks you are an idiot!
      So do I,coming to think about it!!,

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 25

      Hugh Jazz March 24, 2016 8:12 pm Reply
      • Talking about idiots, how’s the shoelace making industry doing HJ?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 11

        John M March 24, 2016 9:19 pm Reply
    • Many think you are an idiot Richard, you keep on confirming it,
      Strength to your keyboard.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

      Keitho March 25, 2016 12:06 am Reply
  • John M . You make stupidity look good.

    Glad the jobs have at least been given a chance but for the yoonniists they want Scotland to fail.
    They are the lowest of the low.,Odious.

    Vote SNP 1 & 2

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 19

    No Cheese Here March 24, 2016 10:46 pm Reply
    • You are a strange one NCH. Why live in a country where you feel the majority of people are odious low life?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

      John M March 26, 2016 11:26 am Reply
  • The SNP have facilitated the opportunity for continuation of a Scottish steel industry and you clowns think that this is wrong?
    .
    WARNING….. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY AN ANTI SNP BLOG.

    Shortly to appear………….
    .
    Alan Reid in a superman outfit.
    .

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 14

    Keitho March 25, 2016 12:13 am Reply
    • Asking a question about what, at the moment, appears to be a very odd agreement is anti-SNP?

      Thank goodness there are some people here who actually care about how Scotland is run.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 11

      JB March 25, 2016 7:00 am Reply
  • There will have been a very good reason for this intermediate step to have been inserted. The Scottish Government’s steel task force have worked hard, very hard to secure a future for these two plants and all credit is due. This however is what good governance is about and one doesn’t need to look to hard to see the effort expended to secure the future of Fergussons Shipyard or the taking over of Prestwick upon which thousands of Ayrshire jobs from jet engine maitenance, to catering to service jobs to tourism depend. So yes, shutting the country down with deindustrialization in favour of large shooting estates is not what this government do.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 14

    Willie March 25, 2016 7:30 am Reply
    • willie, on the face of it, you’re right. HOwever, there is a distinct pattern developing here and with the SNP, it’s becoming more and more a case of bolting the stable door once the horse has bolted.

      For each case you mention and more besides, did the SNP not foresee the issues a long time before? And before you say hindsight is a great thing, the writing has been on the wall for steel for years. Prestwick has been in dire straights for many a year. With the SNP against coal, they are directly contributing to the demise of Hunterston terminal and a massive reduction is associated rai traffic. Fergusons was another example – the Super SNP saved the day, and yet directly had a part to play in it’s demise (not wholly of course).

      I have no issue with the SNP intervening and the apparant success, but at what cost? When will PRestwick turn a profit? It’s almost inconceivable that the Scottish Government can continue to pour money into the airport endlessly.

      You say how hard the SNP worked for this – based on your personal experience or reading the press release?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

      JB March 25, 2016 9:15 pm Reply
      • So the Tory JB would be at ease if Prestwick Airport and the steel industry in Scotland failed, leading to closure.
        Include in this Karl, Jimb, Richard, how many others?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        Keitho March 29, 2016 10:24 pm Reply
  • Willie, willie why be so silly;

    “Sticking points are understood to include what guarantees the Scottish government can offer Liberty House without breaching EU rules on how much aid governments can offer businesses.”

    “Liberty House and Tata are also negotiating over how much of the steel mills’ environmental liabilities would be taken on in any transaction.”

    “The source said Tata wanted to make a “clean break” with the mills by handing over responsibility for environmental costs to Liberty House immediately.”

    Welcome to the new nationalising vote purchasing Cult State of Scotland…

    Two steel mills to add to the air/spaceport and remember don’t question anything Willie, just nod your head in utter admiration of the High Priestess….

    It’s glaringly obvious this protest group masquerading as a government are commercially inept, financially illiterate… which should be no surprise really as it’s just a rag-tag of, blootered twitterers, dodgy estate agents, failed solicitors, hapless ex-councilors and commercial sector rejects.

    The only common theme is their amazing ability to deceive and line their own pockets… eg: Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism…

    Yep, steels mills in the SNP heartland take priority over the likes of the thousands of oil workers losing their jobs, and the 700 or so fish processors losing theirs… but Oh, silly me, I forgot … the steel workers are in the Central Belt, oil and fish workers are in the North East.

    And (LOL) before anyone bleats about steel being necessary to Scotland, it certainly didn’t seem that way when Chinese steel was chosen for the Queensferry Crossing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 14

    Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 8:13 am Reply
    • The FACT that nobody was in a position to provide said steel doesn’t prevent you banging on about it though does it..?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14

      Ian Sanderson March 25, 2016 9:08 am Reply
      • Wrong, Brirish aka south of the border steel was available.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 11

        Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 9:42 am Reply
        • Then why didn’t they respond to the offer to tender..?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

          Ian Sanderson March 25, 2016 10:08 am Reply
          • ( who wrote the contract/Scope of work ???)…The reality is that Scottish firms simply did not bid for the “fabrication of steel” for the new Forth crossing because of the contract specifications.

            The award of the steel supply contracts for the FRC was for “structural steelwork”…not raw steel It was the responsibility of the “structural steelwork fabricators” to source the steel required from the raw steel makers, cheapest of the required spec was China, cheapest fabricators were surprise, surprise Chinese, Polish and Spanish…fabricators are not the manufacture of raw steel…
            No Scottish structural steelwork fabricators bid for the work / no UK steel fabricators bid for the contract… the steel was available in the UK @ a premium… we cannot compete, why buy a business that cannot stand on its own two feet….smoke and mirrors, all is not what it seems…QED…. Votes maybe ???

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

            Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 11:20 am
    • Karl the southerner works away in Iraq courtesy of Tony Blair and George Bush.
      It would appear he would prefer the steelworks in Scotland are permanently shut rather than say well done to the SG.

      Such is the mind of the bitter.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 11

      No Cheese Here March 25, 2016 1:23 pm Reply
      • Are we going to fast for you NHC (?): as below March 25, 2016 11:47 am … 🙂

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

        Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 2:42 pm Reply
    • Thatcher close down steel you clown KARL
      There is nowhere else to go to fulfil the engineering spec.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      Keitho March 29, 2016 12:28 am Reply
      • Keitho,you have a typically bigoted view of why steel production not only in Scotland has declined, the main causes are exactly the same as in the 80’s we are not able to compete.

        British Steel was privatised in 1988 by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, while high manufacturing costs, a downturn in shipbuilding, free-market and overseas competition contributed to the closure of Ravenscraig in 1991. It became the largest brownfield site in Europe, and a social and economic disaster for west-central Scotland from which the physical locale is only now recovering.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

        richard March 29, 2016 11:29 am Reply
  • In the real commercial world you don’ t get anything for nowt

    There has to be a reason why Scottish Govt has intervened the way it has to ‘facilitate ‘ this deal. Scottish Govt offers none other than saying it wont cost the Scottish tax payer

    So what happened to high energy costs which only 24 hrs before hand were reported to be be ‘ blocking ‘ a deal ?

    More worrying is the report that ‘ the deal is understood to have been structured to avoid the lengthy due diligence process required for a transaction between two companies’

    Not doing due diligence may comeback and bite Sottish Govt

    Silly me. I had forgotten the May elections. The SNP is desperate to oust Labour in Motherwell.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 10

    SCOTNAT March 25, 2016 10:46 am Reply
  • http://www.thenational.scot/news/steel-standing-relief-as-government-brokers-deal-to-save-two-scottish-steelworks.15504

    Included in the above are ” no costs to Scottish taxpayers ” & ” Liberty will assume environmental costs “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

    Ian Sanderson March 25, 2016 11:30 am Reply
  • Yep its good news that people have kept their jobs (hopefully the business proves sustainable?), its also good news that the steel works will be converted to process scrap steel… but is it good news that the due diligence process has been circumvented…? an easy shot to buy votes by circumventing processes’ designed to protect…new politics??? aye, that’ll be right.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

    Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 11:47 am Reply
  • I’m far from convinced this is at ‘no cost to the tax payers’

    In fact this article on the Scottish Government’s own website makes it pretty obvious that the overall effort to keep the plants open has been at the tax payers expense.

    http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Steel-business-rates-relief-2240.aspx

    That said I have no problem whatsoever with some taxpayers money being utilised to keep the plants open and protect jobs. I’d just prefer a bit more honesty about the cost of it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

    Integrity? March 25, 2016 12:28 pm Reply
    • Closing down the steel industry in Scotland comes with a cost to the tax payer.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

      Keitho March 29, 2016 11:46 am Reply
      • Yes it does which is one of the reasons I’ve clearly said I have no issue with taxpayers money being spent on saving the plants.

        All I’ve said is I’m not convinced by the claim it has been at no expense to the taxpayer. It clearly has been and I would say it’s money well spent. I would have more respect if the SG came out and said it has cost the taxpayer £x thousands pounds and thus is why we feel it’s justified and then allow people to make their own minds up.

        Of course there is now the question over the liability for decontamination costs. A potential argument which could go on for years of it isn’t tied down by contractual terms. WDC have battling for ages over decontamination costs for its City Deal site. I hope we don’t end up in a similar position here.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Integrity? March 29, 2016 11:27 pm Reply
  • Integrity ?; Nobody would even be discussing the matter if the Scottish Government was less covert and open about such dealings… trust in the politico is at an all-time low…and this means all parties, more openness can only be a good thing…after all, are these people not employees of the electorate ???

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

    Karl Hughes March 25, 2016 1:13 pm Reply
  • http://www.jrrt.org.uk/sites/jrrt.org.uk/files/user-uploads/alistair_carmichael_-_website_statement.pdf

    Want to comment / write about this..? The JRRT have just increased Carmichael’s grant to £50,000…!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    Ian Sanderson March 25, 2016 3:26 pm Reply
    • Ian, that should make jazz’s day.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

      richard March 25, 2016 4:22 pm Reply
      • I see you’re still Frothing Dick.
        Starbucks been onto you yet?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

        Hugh Jazz March 25, 2016 5:54 pm Reply
        • Jazz, you do get wound up as soon as Carmichael is mentioned, now be a good boy and go back to your bedroom.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

          richard March 25, 2016 7:00 pm Reply
          • I hope Alan Reef is tuning into the anger surrounding the liar,Carmichael.
            Hustings will be interesting.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

            Hugh Jazz March 25, 2016 7:18 pm
  • What’s this got to do with ‘Why has SG bought Tata Steel plants to sell them on ‘for the same consideration’ to Liberty House Tata steel sale ?’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    Ali Carmichael March 25, 2016 4:05 pm Reply
  • The consideration is likely to be the minimum legal contractual sum eg £1 – I don’t think a contract for a consideration less than that is legal. Might be in Singapore where Liberty are registered and part of the rush to get through the due diligence will have the benefit of avoiding disclosure. The Scottish Government will have paid over £0.5m through £200k to keep both plants on standby and the loss of business rates which has been offered and will, I presume be gratefully accepted.

    Gupta the CEO of Liberty is an extraordinary man; he speaks so fast one wonders whether Ewing or Sturgeon understood a word he was saying. He’s made clear what he wants, cheap electricity. His other UK plant at Newport just happens to have a generating plant on its doorstep owned by his father. One also wonders whether Sturgeon asked Newport what they had to give him even though they’d be unlikely to part with that information.

    If, and it’s a very big if, a commodity trader can make this work then good luck to him. It’s like Freddie Laker, you want him to succeed but instinct tells you he’s unlikely to.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

    HansBlix March 25, 2016 10:39 pm Reply
    • There’s no cheap leccy in the UK and no prospect of it; it’s green don’t you know. The emperor’s wardrobe is full of wind turbines and they are exactly no use for powering steel mills.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

      db March 28, 2016 8:44 pm Reply
      • As was pointed out lunchtime, excessive taxes on electricity in the UK because of the ‘green’ taxes that no one else in the EU bothers about but we stick to the rules. The taxes then go to subsidise the wind power stations that are built using foreign steel! You could not make it up.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        Lundavra March 30, 2016 3:24 pm Reply
  • The tories want Scotland to fail. The Southern Tory pats only want It for a 2nd holiday home.

    They are odious and will be punished at the ballot box for punishing the disabled and infirm.

    Ruthie will need to get a smaller tank

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

    No Cheese Here March 26, 2016 12:22 am Reply
    • Do you mean Tory Ministers, politicians , voters or all?
      Because frankly you’re more odious than most of them put together, our little racist troller

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

      JB March 26, 2016 8:21 am Reply
      • OH DEAR I have upset JB our wee right winger yooniist troll. Here I thought they were such nice people…. No I don’t. They are the selfish odious group that will be humped at the election and they know it.

        Good

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

        No Cheese Here March 26, 2016 9:13 am Reply
        • ‘right winger’ – you do make me laugh – I can’t work out if it’s ignorance or just stupidity – maybe a combination of the both?

          Anyway, to get back on topic, I’ve spoken to a few lawyers informally and the view is that it’s most likely to do with liabilities that Tata would not wish to retain – as alluded to elsewhere. No immediate cost to the taxpayer, but I’m fairly sure the SNP will have all their fingers crossed that this doesn’t come back too soon – or at least, when it does, someone else is in power.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

          JB March 28, 2016 11:18 pm Reply
  • NCH – You may be right about the Tory vote falling away. I hope it does in Argyll & Bute where Alan Reid only needs a few thousand Labour and Tory voters ( and in my opinon neither can win ) to support him and the SNP will be defeated.

    All perfectly possible – he increased hit votes last time round.

    ALAN REID FOR ARGYLL & BUTE!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    JimB March 26, 2016 8:08 am Reply
    • Ho,Ho,Ho,Ho,Ho,Ho!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

      Hugh Jazz March 27, 2016 9:11 am Reply
  • Where is Alan Reith these days?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

    Willie March 27, 2016 8:08 am Reply
  • In the light of the breaking news from TATA it looks like a brilliant move by the Scottish Government in acquiring the steel plants in Scotland.
    A bold move, thank you.
    Over to you Karl the oracle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    Keitho March 29, 2016 10:14 pm Reply
  • LOL…at least you get my name right…

    Noted this just now: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3514583/Thousands-British-jobs-risk-Indian-owned-Tata-Steel-prepares-sell-s-entire-UK-business.html

    Yep I know its the mail…anyhow…maybe the EU (???) will help bail out P Talbot, has the EU had anything to do with the Scottish Governments assistance to the home steel works ???… openess and accountability cost nowt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    Karl Hughes March 30, 2016 5:45 am Reply
    • Was wondering, do you answer to ‘Karl the Oracle”?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      Keitho March 30, 2016 9:34 am Reply
      • Kinda knew you would say that LOL

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        Karl Hughes March 30, 2016 10:28 am Reply
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