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Weatherill to meet investor on Arrium

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South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill will meet an international investor who has expressed interest in Arrium’s Whyalla steelworks.

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Weatherill says the potential suitor represents one of several international companies with links to the steel industry who have shown an interest in Arrium and its assets.

“There are positive prospects that are being advanced by international investors about the future of Whyalla,” he told reporters in Adelaide.

“They’re not yet landed so we can’t give people the certainty they will be craving at this point. But there is at least cause for, I think, some quiet optimism about the future.”

Weatherill has said the state government is increasingly confident there will be a future for Whyalla and the steelworks despite Arrium having entered administration.

About 1600 workers in Whyalla, as well as thousands more across the country, are facing an uncertain future ahead of Arrium’s first creditors’ meeting on April 19.

Arrium’s administrators, Grant Thornton, have tasked a team of global experts with collecting data and sifting through tens of millions of documents related to the company.

The complex forensic investigation involves 94 separate entities within Arrium and is expected to take up to two weeks.

The administrators will then begin to assess options for a restructure of Arrium, starting with its Whyalla operations, in the hopes of encouraging a recapitalisation of the company.

A detailed plan for Arrium’s future is not expected to be revealed until the second creditors’ meeting in May.

Weatherill said today he had called businesses in Whyalla to check on their welfare, and encouraged South Australians to support the town’s enterprises.

The Premier said he regretted being on a China trade delegation last week when Arrium went into voluntary administration.

“I would have preferred to be here,” he told ABC 891.

“This is a time the community does look to their leaders to show them a sense of support.”

However, he said agreements struck in China would have a positive impact on the economy.

– with AAP

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