UK minister meets Cyrus Mistry as Tata Steel considers bids for assets

  • AFP, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 25, 2016 13:22 IST
This file photo taken on October 17, 2015 shows the Tata Steel plant in Scunthorpe, northeast England. (AFP)

Britain’s business minister Sajid Javid met Tata Steel bosses in Mumbai ahead of a crunch board meeting on Wednesday expected to discuss potential buyers for its loss-making UK assets.

Tata Steel, Britain’s biggest steel employer, announced in March that it planned to sell its Port Talbot plant in Wales and other assets, putting 15,000 jobs at risk.

Javid held discussions with Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry late Tuesday, a day after a deadline passed for interested parties to submit bids to acquire Tata Steel’s struggling British steelworks.

“Met Tata in Mumbai today to discuss #steel sales process. Several credible bidders in play. Determined to keep momentum & find right buyer,” Javid wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

Tata Steel said it was selling its loss-making British assets due to a global oversupply of steel, cheap imports into Europe from countries including China, high costs and currency volatility.

The move heaped pressure on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, which has been racing to find a buyer to safeguard the iconic British steel industry, which dates back to the 19th century.

Earlier this month the company said it had selected seven bidders to proceed to the next stage, without identifying who they were.

Tata Steel’s board is expected to discuss which of those bids to shortlist during Wednesday’s board meeting at the company’s headquarters at Bombay House.

Metal processing company Liberty House has previously expressed interest while a management buyout team under the name Excalibur is also believed to be in the running.

Tata Steel will also announce its quarterly earnings following the board meeting.

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