Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta-led Liberty House Group today expressed "frustration" over reports that Tata Steel plans to "pause" the bidding process for most of its UK steelworks, but made it clear that his company will carry on talks with the Indian steel giant.
Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta-led Liberty House Group today expressed “frustration” over reports that Tata Steel plans to “pause” the bidding process for most of its UK steelworks, but made it clear that his company will carry on talks with the Indian steel giant.
The UK-based international business specialising in metals trading and the manufacture and distribution of steel and advanced engineering products was reported to be among the frontrunners to acquire the Indian steel giant’s UK units, including the largest plant at Port Talbot in Wales.
Tata announced on Friday that it will put the auction on hold due to uncertainties triggered by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in the June referendum and explore a potential joint venture with German company Thyssenkrupp, among others strategic players in the industry.
“This is sad and frustrating news for the UK steel industry because the sector needs a fresh start and we fear this decision will simply deliver more uncertainty over a longer period,” a Liberty House statement said.
“In the short term we will continue discussions with Tata about the acquisition of a number of important assets that fit well with our strategy,” it added.
Liberty House had announced a specific “GreenSteel” strategy, using renewable energy and electric furnaces to melt the readily-available supply of scrap in Britain, as part of its plans to acquire Tata’s on-sale steelworks in the UK.
It has already acquired the company’s Scottish plants as part of this broader strategy.
A Liberty spokesperson said: “From our own point of view it’s disappointing that, in the short term, we will not be able to apply our GreenSteel strategy on the scale which would have truly evolved and transformed Britain’s steel and engineering sector.
“We will continue to pursue our GreenSteel vision to deliver an integrated value- added steel business that is both financially strong and built from renewable sources of energy and steel.
“We would like to thank those who have supported us internally and externally in this long and demanding process and look forward to working with many of them in taking our business forward.”
The Mumbai-headquartered steel giant confirmed last week it will move ahead with separate processes for the potential sale of its South Yorkshire based Speciality Steels business and the Hartlepool pipe mills, leaving aside a 20-inch Tube Mill.