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Bid to overturn administration at Black Country firm is rejected by court

A bid to overturn the appointment of administrators for steel supplier Aartee Bright Bar has been dismissed by the High Court of Justice in Manchester.

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Aartee Bright Bar

Michael Magnay, Richard Fleming and Gemma Quinn of Alvarez & Marsal were appointed joint administrators at the start of the month.

But The GFG Alliance challenged ABB’s entry into administration after agreeing to take over the company on February 23.

GFG, the parent company of Liberty Steel, has since provided funding to cover wages to prevent a reduction in jobs, saying its rescue plan would save jobs at Planetary Road, Willenhall, the hot rolled bars division at Peartree Lane, Dudley and the distribution arm.

But a court has ruled that the Joint Administrators should continue to discharge their duties, with both sides saying they hope to 'to save as many jobs as possible'.

Michael Magnay, Joint Administrator, said: “We are pleased that the court has removed this hurdle and hope that we will be able to carry out our duties without further delay, cost or impingement.

"These include investigating the circumstances leading to Aartee Bright Bar’s insolvency, and recovering as much value as we can from its assets on behalf of all creditors. Since our appointment we are now significantly advanced with a sales process.

"We hope as a result of this process to be able to save as many jobs as possible.”

In response to the verdict, Jeffrey Kabel, Chief Transformation Officer, of Liberty Steel said: “GFG Alliance has fought hard to rescue ABB and deliver a positive outcome for its 250 workers in the West Midlands, Rugby, Bolton, Southampton and Newport.

"The court has decided to give responsibility to the administrators to do the right thing by the business, its employees and the UK steel supply chain.

"We have the right plan to put ABB on the path to recovery as a solvent going concern which is supported by a majority of its creditors. We will seek to hold the administrators to account and work with them to promote our business plan that will safeguard ABB’s jobs across the UK and set a long-term future for the business.”