Arrium steelworks has shortlisted two interested foreign buyers

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Two foreign buyers have been shortlisted for 100% of South Australian steelmaker Arrium after bids closed overnight.

KordaMentha, the administrator, says there will now be a thorough review and comparison of the offers in consultation with sale adviser Morgan Stanley.

“This is a complex business and the offers have many conditions to be worked through,” says partner Mark Mentha.

“This will require active dialogue with the bidders, government and key stakeholders. We can confirm both bidders have filed their FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) applications.”

Earlier reports named the two bidders as a consortium headed by private equity firm Newlake Alliance and an entity made up of British trading firm Liberty House and stablemate SIMEC.

In April last year Arrium went into voluntary administration, a victim of falling iron ore prices and a steel glut caused by overproduction in China.

The iron ore miner and steel producer couldn’t get a deal with its lenders — the banks and note holders — to restructure debt of more than $2 billion.

Shutting Arrium could cost three quarters of a billion dollars and around 5000 jobs, according to analysis by the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute at Flinders University.

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