Tata will start a formal sales process by Monday for its UK business after Javid hails "constructive and positive meeting" in Mumbai

 
Billy Bambrough
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Business secretary Sajid Javid has today flown to Tata's headquarters in Mumbai for talks over the sale of its UK business (Source: Getty)

Indian steel giant Tata will kick off the formal sales process of the its UK business on Monday its been announced by business secretary Sajid Javid following emergency talks in India.

Javid hailed the meeting as "constructive and positive". He yesterday held meetings with steel unions and the only party that's publicly expressed interest in Tata's Port Talbot steelworks, Liberty Steel.

He did however say a number of parties had come forward.

Javid made the announcement in a series of Tweets.

Earlier it was revealed losses at Tata Steel's UK business are supposedly half the £1m that has been reported since the India steel conglomerate announced it would put the business up for sale, potentially making it a more attractive deal to potential buyers.

The £1m number was first reported in Autumn of last year and if it has shrunk by 50 per cent it could give weight to management claims the business can be turned around.

Read more: Bank bailouts are no model to follow for British steel

Liberty House's Sanjeev Gupta has suggested in various interviews he would be interested in overhauling Port Talbots blast furnace to melt down and recycle scrap metal though has said it would be dependent on a deal with the government on taxes, including the carbon tax.

Following today's meeting in India, Javid phoned the general secretary of steelworkers union Community, Roy Rickhuss.

Rickhuss said:

I am encouraged to learn that Tata have committed to be a responsible seller and to allow the time we need to secure a new commercial operator. This is a credit to the campaign our members have run over the past week. Community, the steelworkers' union, has already begun working with independent experts to map out a plan for our steel industry.

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