Posted: Thu 2nd Jun 2016

Are Tata Steel about to agree a deal to stay in the UK? reports in the media suggest they are

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 2nd, 2016

The Financial Times reported early on Thursday evening that “Tata are close to agreeing to keep the Port Talbot steel plant open after the UK government offered the Indian company a multimillion-pound loan to persuade it to remain in the UK.”

The FT says Tata are discussing a state loan of hundreds of millions of pounds on “commercial terms” which could partly replace an existing £900m loan from the parent company to Tata Steel UK.

The move comes after the Mumbai head-quartered company failed to receive assurances that any ‘prospective buyer would keep the plant open for more than three years, the company turned to the UK government to ask for further financial incentives to stay.’ the FT writes.

The UK government consultation into potential legal changes to the British Steel pension fund which would reduce liabilities by several billion pounds and the possibility of a state loan are believed to have convinced Tata to abandon the sales process and keep hold of the plant the report states.

The plight of Shotton and other Tata plants across Wales and the UK is not mentioned in the report though, as with many national newspaper reports Port Talbot is generally used when referring the whole of the UK business.

Tata Steel and the government both refused to comment

More here (paywall) FT.COM

Reports from India last week suggested the board of Tata has picked a shortlist of three bidders for its UK steel assets which of course includes Shotton steel plant.

The FT Reports ahs now been followed by multiple reports in the media including:

SKY News: Tata Under ‘Massive Pressure’ To Stay In UK

telegraph.co.uk: Tata could retain UK steel plant with government loan

theguardian.com: Tata Steel close to deal with government to keep UK business

walesonline.co.uk: Tata is close to  agreeing a deal that would see it keep control of Port Talbot steelworks

ibtimes.co.uk: Multi-million pound UK government loan to Tata Steel may be the incentive to keep Port Talbot open.

Other reports suggest the shortlists of bidders for Tata’s UK steel business will revealed in the next few days, last week the Economic Times reported Excalibur, the management and worker buyout team led by the senior Tata director, Stuart Wilkie. Liberty House headed up by Sanjeev Gupta, who has already taken over Tata sites in Scotland and Leeds-based private equity firm and turnarounds specialist Endless have all made the cut.

No official statement has come from Tata as yet but the report did suggest their source is close to the Tata bidding process and are talking about these three organisations being taken forward the next stage, there is no definite time frame  set for a final decision.

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