Liberty House confirms it will put forward bid for Tata Steel's UK assets

Francesca Washtell
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Sanjeev Gupta is the head of metals and commodities investor Liberty House (Source: Getty)

Liberty House has confirmed it will submit a bid for Tata Steel's UK assets tomorrow, when Tata's deadline for letters of intention to bid for its British business closes.

The commodities investor, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, will make an offer for the whole of Tata's UK business, including the blast furnace site in Port Talbot and a speciality business in Yorkshire.

Liberty House, which is working with Australian bank Macquarie (which could also be a potential funder), is being advised by former Tata Steel executives, including Jon Bolton, who previously headed the firm's European Long Products business.

City A.M. understands that the State Bank of India is on board with Liberty House as another possible financial backer.

"We can confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel on Tuesday and has put in place a strong internal transaction team and panel of leading external advisers to take the bid forward," a Liberty House spokesman said.

It was widely reported that Tata Steel had set a deadline of 28 May for the sale of its UK facilities, which it announced it would sell at the end of March. However, the company has said it "does not recognise" that deadline, leaving it unknown when the sale is planned to go through.

In early April, Gupta said he believed Tata's loss-making British plants could be turned around. It is unclear what Liberty House's conditions for the purchase of the Tata Steel UK business would be, but Gupta has previously said the blast furnaces pose the biggest problem and the company would only stage a takeover if it was "confident" that large-scale redundancies would not be necessary.

Liberty House saved two of Tata's Scottish mills in Clydebridge and Dalzell towards the end of March.

The plants were due to be abandoned as Tata steamlined its European business and moved away from steel plate production, a move which would've resulted in 1,200 layoffs.

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