Potential steel saviour Liberty House had "positive" meeting with government

 
Jessica Morris
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Gupta said a rescue plan would avoid mass job losses (Source: Getty)

Sanjeev Gupta, the businessman who could potentially save Tata Steel's UK assets, said he had "positive" talks with the government today.

The head of metals group and commodities trader, Liberty House, was speaking after a meeting with business secretary Sajid Javid in London.

"The UK Government appears highly supportive and is proactively engaged in finding a long-term solution. We have also actively engaged with Welsh Government and again we are encouraged by their approach," Gupta said.

Read more: Talks to save Port Talbot steelworks rest on carbon tax deal

He added that all parties were "very motivated" to find a solution, and that the next stage would be for Tata to open a formal sales process before Liberty House could assess its next step.

Earlier today, Gupta told the BBC that many of Tata's British plants are loss-making, however they could be turned around.

"The biggest problem we see is the blast furnaces because they are importing all their raw material to smelt steel," he said.

"We have an alternative suggestion which is to still make hot metal but to make it from local raw material rather than imported raw material, so it's a change of technology rather than ending liquid steel making."

He previously told City A.M. any deal would depend on the extent of the investment Liberty House would be expected to commit to, how much the government and Tata would put in, and whether a deal can be reached on the carbon tax.

Gupta also moved to quell workers' fears that a steel plant restructuring could led to widespread layoffs.

Read more: The three most important things Sajid Javid said about steel on the BBC's Andrew Marr show

"If we get involved in Port Talbot we will only do so on the basis that we are confident there will not be any mass redundancies."

Javid is also due to fly to Mumbai to meet Tata chairman Cyrus Mistry today.

"I will travel to Mumbai later tomorrow to discuss details of the UK #steel sales process with Tata Chairman Cyrus Mistry," he said on Twitter last night.

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