International Steel Mills

Tata Steel UK Sale Process Begins Monday

Written by Sandy Williams

The formal sale process for Tata Steel’s UK assets will begin on Monday and will last a reasonable amount of time, according to UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

Several potential bidders have already come forward said Javid, adding that he hoped “many, many more” would do so.

Liberty House, an international metals group, has been identified as one of the bidders and is the current favorite to buy the Tata operation. Liberty owns a steel plant in Newport, Wales and will take over the two Scottish mills that are under temporary ownership by the government.

Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Liberty House, told BBC that a takeover of the assets would be complicated and would involve commitments from the government to help with £2 billion in pension deficits and other support.

Gupta envisions transforming the Tata mills from blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces to take advantage of lower cost and domestically available scrap metal instead of imported raw materials. According to the BBC report, Liberty estimates that 700 blast furnace staff would need to be retrained and the transition would take a year to 18 months.

Another rescue source may be investment fund Greybull, which is interested in the Scunthorpe plant and, potentially, the Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales.

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