International Steel Mills

Tata Steel to Pause UK Sale

Written by Sandy Williams

Tata Steel is expected to announce on Friday that it is halting the sales process for its UK assets, according to a report by the BBC. Shortly after the United Kingdom announced withdrawal from the European Union, four of the shortlisted bidders pulled out of the process citing uncertainty about the continuing viability of the Tata steel operations.

The halt is expected to be temporary with the sale continuing once the impact of Brexit is better understood.

“We all understand the massive impact of the referendum result, and we appreciate that Tata Steel, like so many other businesses, need time to review and evaluate the implications of Brexit,” British Labour lawmaker Stephen Kinnock said in a statement. “However, it is now absolutely critical that Tata Steel and the U.K. government come forward with a specific timetable.”

According to the BBC report, Tata Steel has lost the urgency to sell the UK assets after receiving assurance of government incentives to keep the operations going.

The potential pause in the sales process is of concern to the 9,000 workers at the struggling steel mills.

“The cloud of uncertainty over steelworkers’ heads needs to be lifted by Tata giving binding commitments about its long-term intentions regarding Port Talbot and its U.K. strips business,” U.K. labor union Unite said in a statement. “Unite will be pressing Tata for clarity over its intentions and ensuring it sticks to its promise to be a responsible seller and act ethically.”

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