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Seven bidders interested in Tata Steel

Do Not UseDo Not Use 9/05/2016
Tata Port Talbot steel plant © Getty Images Tata Port Talbot steel plant

Tata Steel has confirmed that seven bidders are interested in buying its UK operations.

It said all the bidders were interested in the whole of the loss-making business, and it was not considering offers for parts of it.

Tata said it was also clarifying outstanding points with a "number of other interested parties".

The sale includes Port Talbot, the UK's largest steelworks, as well as sites at Newport and Rotherham.

About 4,000 people work at Port Talbot, some 1,300 at Newport, and about 1,200 at Rotherham. Tata also has operations at Corby, Shotton and Teesside.

Tata's Scunthorpe operation, which employs more than 3,000 people, has already been sold to investment firm Greybull Capital for a nominal £1.

'Sustainability'

The company said all the bidders had progressed to the next stage of the sale process, where they would now receive further information about the business.

Group executive director of Tata Steel, Koushik Chatterjee, said: "We believe that the bids being taken forward offer future prospects of sustainability for the UK business as a whole."

The UK government had been involved in helping to decide which bids would progress, he said.

The government has promised to support any buyer of Tata Steel UK by taking up to a 25% stake in a new business and lending hundreds of millions of pounds.

India's Tata Steel put the loss-making business up for sale earlier this year and is hoping for a quick sale process.

The company has not publicly set a deadline for any deal, but has made it clear it cannot sustain its £1m-a-day losses indefinitely and wants certainty for workers and customers.

"The sales process will continue as announced earlier in an expedited and robust manner," Mr Chatterjee said.

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