Tata Steel to look at potential bids for Port Talbot

Tata steelworks Image copyright Getty Images

Tata Steel will begin looking at what prospective buyers of its loss-making UK business are prepared to offer after receiving letters of intent.

Two firms are known to have put forward takeover proposals for Tata's sites, which include the Port Talbot plant where more than 4,000 people work.

A management buyout team under the name of Excalibur Steel UK Limited and Liberty House, which runs a steelworks in Newport, are interested.

Tata is hoping for a quick sale.

It has reached out to 190 potential bidders for the Port Talbot site, which is the biggest in the UK.

Tata has not publicly set a deadline for any deal, but has made it clear it cannot sustain its £1m-a-day losses indefinitely and does not want to prolong the uncertainty for workers and customers.

The UK government has said it would consider taking a stake in any rescue plan for Tata's Steel's UK assets, which also include sites at Llanwern, Shotton and Trostre.

Stuart Wilkie, chief executive of Excalibur and previously the hub director of Tata Steel's Strip Products, UK, said: "We believe we have a large number of the pieces in place required to make this a success, including a management team with vast experience of steel-making and processing.

"We are confident we can turn the business around and sustain profitable steel-making in the United Kingdom, including both the down-stream and up-stream operations."

A Liberty House statement said: "The bid is based on Liberty's Greensteel business model and would involve a transition from steelmaking in blast furnaces to recycling steel in electric arc furnaces over time while ensuring the company continues to meet key customers' quality requirements.

"Steelmaking would be ultimately powered by renewable energy sources."

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