Liberty House confirms plans to bid for Tata Steel’s UK business

Tata steelworks in Rotherham where a huge fire has broken out this morning.   Picture Tony Johnson
Tata steelworks in Rotherham where a huge fire has broken out this morning. Picture Tony Johnson
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Global trading firm Liberty House has confirmed plans to bid Tata Steel’s UK assets, including plants in Stocksbridge and Rotherham.

The company, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, was first to express an interest after the Indian conglomerate announced the shock decision to dispose of its loss-making UK business, including the country’s biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

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Steel industry tycoon could lead bid for part of Tata’s UK business.

A Liberty spokesman said: “We can confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel today and has put in place a strong internal transaction steering committee and panel of leading external advisers to take the bid forward.

“We hope to make a further short statement later today.”

The site of Tata Steel in Stocksbridge. Picture: Andrew Roe

The site of Tata Steel in Stocksbridge. Picture: Andrew Roe

A management buyout team is also planning to submit a bid under the name Excalibur Steel UK Limited.

It has appointed investment banker Mark Rhydderch-Roberts as a non-executive director.

He joins Stuart Wilkie, the head of Tata’s United Kingdom strip steel business, former Alcan senior executive and venture capitalist Roger Maggs, Simon Gibson, chief executive officer of Wesley Clover and company secretary Jon Fernandez Lewis in the board.

A start-up steel company led by Yorkshire businessman Tony Pedder has confirmed its interest in Tata’s Speciality Steels, which employs more than 2,000 people in Rotherham and Stocksbridge.

The Government has pledged to support any buyer of the business by buying up to a quarter stake and making hundreds of millions of pounds of finance available.

Tata has not publicly set a deadline for any deal but has made it clear it cannot sustain the £1m-a-day losses indefinitely.