Wednesday, November 29

Tata Steel Starts Sales Process For UK Plants



Tata is beginning the formal process of selling its loss-making UK steel empire today, inviting potential buyers to submit offers.

The only company that has so far expressed a public interest in buying the assets, including the country’s biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in south Wales, is Liberty owned by Sanjeev Gupta.

Mr Gupta has spoken of a desire to save jobs with the potential to remodel Port Talbot as a producer of steel through the use of electric arc furnaces – to take advantage of recycling opportunities.

But top of his list of concerns are high energy costs in the UK, which he told Sky News last week would have to be “rectified” by the Government.

He also warned there would be no quick-fix, overnight solution.

Mr Gupta said: “There are issues to resolve which will become more apparent as prospective buyers do their due diligence.

“As they do we hope there will be an equitable solution for the industry.”

Meanwhile, the sale of Tata’s Scunthorpe plant is expected to be completed today.

Negotiations between the Indian conglomerate and investment firm Greybull Capital over the Scunthorpe plant started nine months ago.

It is expected that the deal will be announced later, although neither side would confirm that the deal was close to being finalised.

The move would safeguard thousands of jobs at the plant and at supplier firms, but Greybull Capital has already said it would ask workers to accept a cut to pay and pension contributions if it takes the business on.

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Sajid Javid will address MPs later on his efforts to find a buyer for the firm’s other UK plants.

He flew to India last week to meet company executives and ask for enough time to find a buyer.