Wales politics

Tata Steel: Welsh Government give buyout team £750,000

Port Talbot steel works Image copyright Getty Images

A management buyout of Tata Steel was given £750,000 by the Welsh Government, BBC Wales has been told.

Excalibur Steel received grants and loans to help prepare a bid to buy Tata's UK steelmaking business when it went on sale last year.

The sale is on hold and Tata staff are being balloted on whether to accept a less generous pension scheme.

The Welsh Government said it offered the financial package to help develop "a realistic" buyout proposal.

The ballot on a new pension offer is part of a deal from Tata that includes further investment in its Port Talbot steelworks.

Tata's pension scheme has been one of the main obstacles for potential buyers.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Steelworkers at Port Talbot last April when the business was put up for sale

Excalibur said the company's proposal to Tata remains on the table while the sale is on hold.

The Welsh Government said it would consider providing more support if the sale process is re-opened but could not confirm the balance of loans and grants for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

It has also offered £60m of funding for Tata to keep making steel in Wales.

In a statement to BBC Wales, the Welsh Government said: "We put a substantial financial package of support on the table as soon as this crisis started to support Tata or any potential successful bidder for the plants in Wales and we provided grant and loan finance of around £750,000 to the Excalibur team to develop a realistic and viable management buy-out proposal.

"The Excalibur team were also supported in their bid by substantial private investment."

Tata has been in merger talks with German industrial group ThyssenKrupp.

The Welsh Government added: "We have always said that our support is conditional on job security for Welsh workers and potentially available for any company that can guarantee production and jobs continuing at all the Tata sites in Wales."

An Excalibur spokesman said taxpayer funding would have helped pay for legal, accounting and other professional advice for the buyout plan.

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