Brexit stalls Tata Steel's UK operations sale plans

Port Talbot steel works at sunset Image copyright Getty Images

The next stage in selling Tata Steel's UK operations has been delayed due to Brexit, BBC Wales understands.

Newport's Liberty Steel and the management buyout team Excalibur are expected to press ahead with their bids, but there have been reports of other potential buyers withdrawing.

Tata has confirmed no bidders have so far pulled out in light of the EU leave result.

But a bidders' shortlist expected this coming week is now unlikely.

Tata Steel employs over 6,000 workers at five site in Wales - 4,000 of those at its Port Talbot plant.

The steel giant has a further 6,600 people working at eight sites across England.

Leave vote impact

But it is not just the companies involved in the bidding process for those operations that are assessing the situation.

The banks and investors backing them will be looking at whether leaving the EU changes the nature of the investment and the risk attached to it.

All businesses are considering the impact of Brexit, including Tata's customers.

Image caption Shotton's colour coating steel plant in Flintshire - the site employs over 700 people

The EU market accounts for 69% of Welsh steel exports.

Those who campaigned in favour of leaving in the referendum vote argued that trade with the European market would continue and claimed the EU did little to help the industry when it needed it.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns will be meeting business leaders this week to try to calm nerves over the impact of leaving the European Union.

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