Big names go public in Tata bid

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The deadline for potential buyers of Tata Steel UK to submit their initial bids has passed, with several big names in the frame.

Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House was the first company to confirm it would submit a letter of intent. Mr Gupta was also the first person to publicly express interest in buying the business when Tata announced it was looking to dispose of it back in March.

It is expected to make a bid for the whole business, including Port Talbot steel works. Mr Gupta has said he wants to convert Port Talbot from blast furnace to electric arc furnace operation as part of a business model geared around making ‘green steel’ using recycled scrap.

Tata has said it wants to sell the business as a unit rather than split it, although analysts have said some of the ‘downstream’ facilities that turn steel into specialist products would be attractive as standalone operations.

Excalibur – the group putting together an employee-management buyout for the business – was also expected to put forward a bid for the entire business.

Excalibur is led by former Alcan senior executive and venture capitalist Roger Maggs as well as Stuart Wilkie, the head of Tata’s UK strip steel business , who has been given leave t work on the bid, and Simon Gibson, chief executive officer of investment firm Wesley Clover.