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Tata bidder warns of major job cuts

Do Not UseDo Not Use 6/05/2016
Tata steelworks © Getty Images Tata steelworks

One of the potential buyers of Tata Steel - the management team - says it could cut up to 1,000 jobs if it succeeds in buying the plants.

tata assets © BBC tata assets

Excalibur Steel UK Limited said its plans for the business were based on "re-engineering" the way it is run.

Excalibur is one of two possible buyers, the other is Liberty House.

Unions are concerned about job losses at the Tata plants, which include the country's biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in south Wales.

More than 4,000 people work at that site.

The current owner, India's Tata Steel, said this week it would begin looking at what prospective buyers of its loss-making UK business are prepared to offer after receiving letters of intent.

Tata is hoping for a quick sale.

It has connected with 190 potential bidders for the Port Talbot site, which is the biggest in the UK.

Tata has not publicly set a deadline for any deal, but has made it clear it cannot sustain its £1m-a-day losses indefinitely and does not want to prolong the uncertainty for workers and customers.

'Efficiency'

Excalibur said the reorganisation would be necessary as the current business was run as part of a far larger one, which had other plants in Europe.

It said in a statement: "The opportunity for greater efficiency involves evolving from a highly functional centralised business model, with significant fixed costs and overheads.

"This arises because the existing arrangements are based on a pan-European structure. Excalibur's proposals will see a migration towards leaner autonomous sub-business units. In the event Excalibur is successful in acquiring Tata's UK steel assets, this will inevitably take some time to achieve.

"Potentially this could affect up to 1,000 jobs across the entirety of the operation."

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union said this was "worrying" for steelworkers, who were already facing uncertainty: "We have had no discussions with Excalibur about additional job losses.

"We await to see the details of their plans for the business and any implications for jobs."

The UK government has previously said it will consider taking a stake in any rescue plan for Tata's Steel's UK assets, which also include sites at Llanwern, Shotton and Trostre.

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