Duff & Phelps appointed for Meridian Metal Trading administration

08 April 2019 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

UK steel supplier Meridian Metal Trading has collapsed into administration. At present, none of the firm’s 170 staff have been made redundant, and administrator Duff & Phelps hopes to keep the company running until a buyer is found.

With a growing level of concern around a potential global trade war, the pricing of key commodities has spiked dramatically since the announcement of harsh import tariffs by the US, and with a retaliation due, the profitability of the world’s supply chains could be hit by rapidly rising costs. The global extraction industry had already entered a period of reducing costs amid pricing pressures, and now the problems are being felt further down the supply chain.

In 2017, Tata Steel Europe, since rebranded British Steel, collapsed amid pricing pressures. Now, Meridian Metal Trading has become the latest figure in Britain’s metal industry to suffer an insolvency, following more than 30 years of trading from its Dudley headquarters in the West Midlands.

Duff & Phelps appointed for Meridian Metal Trading administration

Established in 1987, Meridian Metal Trading employs approximately 170 people across five locations in the UK, with service centres in Guildford and Sheffield, and sales offices in Bolton and Newport, South Wales. A leading supplier of galvanised, hot rolled, cold reduced, electro zinc and aluminised slit coil sheets and sheared blanks in both drawing and high strength grades, the company processes steel sheet and coil, and supplies close to 250,000 tonnes of steel to hundreds of customers annually.

Despite the levels of demand the firm enjoyed, it nonetheless succumbed to its debt. In 2018, Meridian secured a £35 million facility from Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance. Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram, both of Duff & Phelps, have been installed as joint administrators at the group, which at the time of writing has seen no redundancies.

Allan Graham stated, “Meridian is one of the largest, fully independent steel stockholders and processors in the UK and one of the best known stockholders in the sector… It is our intention to continue to trade the business until a buyer is found, a process that we do not think will take long as there are already a number of expressions of interest. As of today there have been no redundancies and it is very much business as usual. We are receiving great support from the experienced workforce, suppliers and customers to find a positive outcome.”