1. ITV Report

Collaborative option may steer Tata Steel sales process in a new direction

Credit: Reuters
  • By ITV News Wales Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Serious about buying Tata Steel UK?

Those that are need to get their bids in by midday Monday.

While the field will likely narrow later in the week, from the original seven contenders, down to three or maybe even straight to a preferred bidder, there is one option that is gaining weight and potentially steering the process in a new direction.

The prospect of what I'm told would be seen as an "all-British Bid" could see the Management buyout team, Excalibur Steel UK and Sanjeev Gupta's Liberty House Group working together.

A deal is not yet believed to be done and both organisations still intend to submit individual bids, but plan to make it known to Tata that they are willing to work together.

Potentially this would give Excalibur access to what one source describes as "the deep pockets" of Liberty House, while in turn they would benefit from working closely with the team who have been seen as the front-runners from the outset of the sales process.

While the Sunday Times reports that both sides met on Friday, I can reveal that there have been regular conversations and meetings between them for some weeks.

Equally, both Liberty and Excalibur have met with the Business Secretary Sajid Javid. He is due to fly to Mumbai ahead of the Tata Steel board meeting on Wednesday for discussions about the sales process and the expensive issue of pension liabilities.