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PM: 'Number of serious inquiries of interest' in Tata received

David Cameron confirmed government has received statements of interest in buying Tata Credit: HOC

Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed "a number of serious inquiries of interest into buying all of Tata" were received by yesterday's deadline.

He told PMQs that the government would now work with Tata Steel and potential buyers to "get that list down to those that are really seriously intending to bid for the business".

Optimism at Tata Steel UK as bids come in

  • Report by ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

When the sale of Tata Steel UK was announced, it was feared that thousands of people would lose their jobs.

But spirits are high at the plant in Port Talbot with employees feeling optimistic about the future of the company after two groups have bid for the business.

Management buyout team Excalibur have said that they will turn around the plant, aiming to be profitable within two years.

The second bidder, Liberty House Group, have outlined their 'greensteel' business model for the plant.

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Liberty House outlines green plans for Tata Steel

Liberty House has confirmed it has formally submitted a letter of intent containing its bid for the entire issued share capital of Tata Steel UK, and released a statement outlining its "sustainable" plans for the company.

The bid is based on Liberty's greensteel business model and would involve a transition from steelmaking in blast furnaces to recycling steel in electric arc furnaces over time, while ensuring the company continues to meet key customers' quality requirements.

Steelmaking would be ultimately powered by renewable energy sources.

Liberty believes the UK steel industry can achieve long-term viability if based on an agile, sustainable, non-cyclical model which integrates liquid steel-making from recycling with down-stream production and the manufacture of advanced engineering products.

– Statement from Liberty House Group

Excalibur Steel confirm they aim to buy Tata Steel

The Excalibur Steel consortium has confirmed that they are hoping to secure a management buyout of Tata Steel's UK assets.

Earlier, Liberty House confirmed it will put in a bid to buy the assets.

The deadline for potential buyers to come forward is tonight.

Business Secretary postpones Iran trip to discuss Tata deal

UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid has delayed his trade meeting in Iran Credit: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has postponed a key trade visit to Iran, according to a spokesman from the business department, to focus on the future of Britain's steel industry.

India's Tata group announced its plans in March that it would sell its entire UK steel operation - leaving the UK government in a battle to save an industry that has weak demand, soaring costs and hurt by cheap Chinese imports.

"Given the Business Secretary's focus on the steel industry, he has decided to postpone his trip to Iran," the spokesman said.

"He remains committed to exploring the opportunities for trade and investment with this emerging market and an alternative date will be arranged in due course," he added.

Liberty House to bid to buy Tata Steel's UK assets

Tata Steel is to sell its UK assets. Credit: PA

Liberty House has confirmed it will put in a formal bid to buy Tata Steel's UK assets.

The commodities trading firm was the first to express an interest after the Indian conglomerate announced the decision to dispose of its loss making UK business, including the country's biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

A spokesman said Liberty said: "We can confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel today and has put in place a strong internal transaction steering committee and panel of leading external advisers to take the bid forward."

A further statement is expected later today.

A management buyout team is also planning to submit a bid under the name Excalibur Steel UK Limited.

The Government has pledged to support any buyer of the business by buying up to a quarter stake and making hundreds of millions of pounds of finance available.

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'Government won't take more than 25% equity stake in Tata Steel'

Credit: PA

The government is not prepared to take more than a 25% equity stake in Tata Steel's assets, the business secretary has told a committee of MPs today.

He said that he wanted to see them sold as soon as possible.

Twenty five percent was the limit that I thought was necessary to show that on the one hand you're serious about helping ... but also not to put off potential investors by saying this is something the government seeks to control.

– Business Secretary Sajid Javid

He said that a number of potential buyers have told the government they would not take on pension liabilities, echoing comments made by the firm's new CEO Bimlendra Jha.

Javid said he did not see the pension liabilities as a big threat to the public purse.

'More needs to be done to lower industry's energy costs'

Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said that more needs to be done to lower British industry's energy costs, in order for UK businesses to compete in Europe.

He was responding to the Business Select Committee's questions over the steel crisis after Tata Steel's CEO pointed out Germany's lower prices.

Bimlendra Jha said that if UK energy prices were the same as in Germany, Tata Steel would be £40 million better off.

Business Secretary grilled by MPs over steel crisis

The business secretary has said that he would not have travelled to Australia and missed crisis talks over the sale of British steel plants, "if he had known how it would be reported."

Appearing before the Business Select Committee today, Sajid Javid said he did not believe a decision to immediately close the plants would be taken when he went on the March 29 trade mission.

"Obviously it was very far from home," he said. "I turned around and came back as quickly as I could."

He faced calls to quit after taking his teenage daughter on the trip to Sydney, instead of attending a meeting in Mumbai about the South Wales plant.

Tata Steel warns of 'huge economic disaster' over pensions deficit

Credit: PA

Tata Steel has warned of a "huge economic and social disaster" if steps are not taken to solve Port Talbot's pension fund liability.

Bimlendra Jha, the firm's new chief executive, told MPs today that the South Wales plant's pension fund liability must be taken care of in order to find a buyer for the steel plant.

He said that there are solutions that would not involve public money.

The government has already said it looking at "separating" the old British Steel pension scheme, which has 130,000 members and is around £500 million in deficit, from Tata Steel.

If we don't solve it we are staring at some very bad consequences for the taxpayer ... We are staring at a huge economic and social disaster.

– Tata Steel CEO Bimlendra Jha
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