Sale to Italian and Korean steelmakers will save 2,000 jobs and raise £320m cash

Corus is preparing to sell a majority stake in a steel plant on Teeside, saving 2,000 jobs, according to reports.

Under the deal, the steel giant will retain a 25% stake in the plant, transferring the remaining 75% to an Italian-led partnership of two non-UK steelmakers, Marcegaglia of Italy and Dongkuk of South Korea. The deal will raise $450m (£320m) for the hard-pressed firm.

Earlier this week, Corus – owned by the Tata industrial group of India – announced 3,500 redundancies, 2,500 of them in the UK and the rest mainly in the Netherlands.

Demand for steel has fallen within Europe by 40% in six months.