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Tata steel: "We are determined to find a buyer for our assets"

TATA steel sign: the company say finding a buyer for their assets - including Hartlepool - is a priority

Steel giant Tata blames "structural weaknesses" in the UK for its decision to sell its assets - including the Hartlepool Pipe Mill site.

Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK told MP's he was "determined" to find a credible buyer, but stressed the government "will probably have to do more" to help secure a sale.

He went on to say that there was no set deadline for selling the company's loss-making assets, but made it clear that Tata could not continue to "bleed" indefinitely.

Jha, who oversaw the sale of Tata's Scunthorpe works earlier this month, said there is no "dead drop" deadline for the sale of Tata's steel assets, but stressed that is a "matter of urgency" for the company.

"We would not be selling the business if we were not losing money," said Mr Jha, adding that the UK had structural weaknesses around energy prices and business rates.

He said that if energy prices were the same as in Germany for example, Tata would be £40 million better off.

Union responds to possible Tata management buyout

Responding to reports of a potential management buyout for Tata Steel’s UK operations, a spokesperson for Community, the steelworkers’ union said:

We welcome interest from all credible potential new owners. We are aware of reports that a management buyout is under consideration and would expect discussions with anyone considering leading such an initiative.

We are still in the very early stages of the sales process; however it is clear that significant interest in the business exists from a number of different potential buyers. This is a sign that a long –term, profitable future for the industry is entirely possible.

The steel industry’s best asset is its people, and Community, as the steelworkers’ union will continue to work closely with Tata, government and potential investors to secure a future for those people, their communities and the whole industry.

– Union response

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Eagle: MoD projects using 'mainly imported steel'

Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle has criticised the previous Conservative-led coalition government for scrapping Labour's defence industrial strategy.

Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle during the Emergency Debate on the UK steel industry Credit: PA

She said the strategy had made British jobs and industries the first priority in MoD contracts.

She told MPs: "We now have the deeply regrettable situation of an aircraft carrier, British surface ships and armoured vehicles all being manufactured in the UK with mainly imported steel, when, with more planning, our domestic industry could have supplied these needs."

  1. National

Javid hints at use of UK steel in defence projects

Sajid Javid has hinted to MPs more UK-made steel may be included in defence projects.

Business secretary Sajid Javid speaking during an emergency debate on the UK's steel industry

The business secretary said the defence procurement minister may make an announcement "in the coming days" on MoD acquisition of British steel.

He added potential Government "co-investment" with a commercial buyer in Tata Steel's largest plant in Port Talbot could involve taking on some of the business's debts.

  1. National

Javid: 'I'm fighting for UK steel every hour of the day'

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said he was fighting for British steelworkers "every hour of the day".

Speaking on Tuesday in the House of Commons, Javid said: "Investors everywhere know British steel is the best in the world.

"They know that British steel workers are the hardest working in the world and they know that the British Government stands with the the steel industry, and we will do whatever we can to support it to become more competitive.

"The challenges we face are great, the crisis the steel industry faces is global, but I am fighting for Britain's steel workers every hour of the day.

"I was fighting for them long before this crisis hit the headlines, and I will go on fighting as long as it takes because British steel workers are the best in the world, and they deserve no less".

  1. National

Javid: 'Tories taking real action to save UK steel'

Sajid Javid described the global steel crisis as a "human tragedy" Credit: House of Commons

Business Secretary Sajid Javid described the global steel crisis as a "human tragedy", saying the Government was "deeply concerned" with the UK situation.

But speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Javid said that the Government had left "no stone unturned" in its attempts to sell British steel.

He added that the Conservatives were taking "real action" to support the UK industry.

Steelmakers have been paid £76 million already to compensate for energy bills, a figure expected to rise to £100 million by the end of 2016.

Meanwhile, energy intensive industries will be exempted from future renewable policy costs, saving the steel industry over £400 million, Javid said.

He added that the Government's willingness to "co-invest" in Tata Steel with a commercial partner was evidence of its commitment to save the industry.

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