Tata Steel has confirmed that seven bidders are interested in buying its UK operations as a whole.
Tata Steel has confirmed it is taking forward seven “expressions of interest” over the sale of its entire remaining business in the UK.
They have said that they are only now considering bidders who are interested in the whole of the loss-making business, and are not taking offers for parts of it.
The seven bidders have progressed to the next stage of the sale process, and will now receive further information about the business.
The sale includes Port Talbot, the UK’s largest steelworks which employs around 4,000 people. It also includes the site at Newport which employs around 1,300, and Rotherham which employs around 1,200.
Tata also has operations at Corby, Shotton and Teeside.
The bidders were not identified by Tata but they are known to include Excalibur Steel – essentially a management buyout vehicle – and metals group Liberty House.
Group Executive Director of Tata Steel, Koushik Chatterjee, said: “We believe that the bids being taken forward offer future prospects of sustainability for the UK business as a whole.
“The UK government had been involved in helping to decide which bids would progress”.
The government pledged to support any buyer of Tata Steel UK by lending hundreds of millions of pounds, and taking up to a 25% stake in a new business.
Greybull Capital recently bought Tata’s Scunthorpe operation, which employs around 3,000 workers, for a nominal £1.
Tata Steel has not set a deadline for any deal, however they have made it clear that they cannot sustain its £1M-a-day losses indefinitely. The company wants certainty for workers and customers and therefore hope to make the sale quickly.
“The sales process will continue as announced earlier in an expedited and robust manner,” Mr Chatterjee said.