British Steel's sale to a Turkish firm is entering its final stages.

The Official Receiver has announced he has entered exclusive sales talks after an agreement to purchase British Steel have been signed by Ataer Holdings.

This has triggered a period of detailed due diligence of the company ahead of its full sale.

Several bids were received for British Steel and the agreement now signed between Ataer Holdings A.S. and the Official Receiver sees the preferred buyer in exclusive talks to confirm their intention to take on the steel-making business and its subsidiaries.

Ataer Holding is an investment arm of Turkey's armed forces pension fund.

The Official Receiver said: “Following discussions with a number of potential purchasers for the British Steel group over the past few weeks I am pleased to say I have now received an acceptable offer from Ataer Holdings for the purchase of the whole business and I am now focusing on finalising the sale.

"I will be looking to conclude this process in the coming weeks, during which time British Steel continues to trade and supply its customers as normal."

British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation in May after talks between its owner Greybull Capital and the Government stalled.

Owner Greybull Capital had been seeking financial support from the Government, saying it faced a number of Brexit-related issues.

But the Government said it would be unlawful for it to intervene.

Workington's TSP Engineering is a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Steel.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that an offer was on the table for British Steel.

John Coughlan, chief executive of the specialist manufacturer, based at Derwent Howe, said: "TSP Engineering is fully supportive of British Steel's efforts and results to bring itself out of insolvency.

"We are fully behind them and fully supportive.

"TSP Engineering is an independent company and we were not involved in the insolvency process that surrounded British Steel.

"We continue as a separate business to trade as normal, as a strong and solvent business."

TSP Engineering employs around 220 people.

It was owned by Tata Steel, but was part of the group of businesses sold to Greybull Capital in 2016, under the British Steel Ltd banner.

TSP is one of the largest engineering facilities in the UK, comprising 19,200sq m of workshop capacity, five metre deep pits and a lifting capacity of 130 tonnes.

Ataer owns nearly 50 per cent of Turkey's biggest steel producer, Erdemir.

It is the investment vehicle of the Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund, known as Oyak, the pension fund for the country's armed forces.