Liberty assures it can afford Tata's UK assets as concerns grow

 
Jessica Morris
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Tata Steel's UK business loses nearly £1m per day (Source: Getty)

Liberty House has assured it can afford to buy Tata's UK business, as doubts grow over its ability to rescue Port Talbot and Tata's other steel sites without significant government support.

The group's chief executive, Sanjeev Gupta, told Reuters that it has a turnover of around $6.5m (£4.6m) and so working capital needs to buy out Tata's UK plants should not be a big issue.

Read more: Tata will start a formal sales process by Monday for its UK business

"In terms of money, what we will require is the working capital to run the businesses ... and working capital we are quite good at, as that is what we have been doing in our trading business for the last 25 years," he said.

More clarity is expected to emerge once Gupta appoints a financial adviser, likely on Friday.

Filings at Companies House show that Liberty’s UK business recorded less than $60m (£43m) of sales in 2014, the latest year for which its accounts have been filed.

Tata's UK business is thought to be losing nearly £1m per day, however the MP whose constituency houses Port Talbot recently said the figure is half that.

Read more: Why the bank bailouts are no model to follow for the struggling UK steel industry

Other potential bidders being touted are investment company Greybull and German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp.

Tata will begin the formal process to sell its UK plants by Monday, business secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday.

Liberty expects to start due diligence on Tata's assets within a week from then.

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