Liberty House confirms bid to buy Tata Steel UK's assets

Tata Steel UK in Hartlepool
Tata Steel UK in Hartlepool

Liberty House has confirmed it will put in a formal bid to buy Tata Steel's UK assets.

The commodities trading firm, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, was first to express an interest after the Indian conglomerate announced the shock decision to dispose of its loss making UK business. Tata employs more than 400 people at its Hartlepool steel mill.

A spokesman said Liberty is planning to submit a letter of intent to Tata on Tuesday and has put together an internal transaction team and team of external advisers to take the bid forward.

A management buyout team is also planning to submit a bid under the name Excalibur Steel UK Limited.

It has appointed investment banker Mark Rhydderch-Roberts as a non-executive director.

He joins Stuart Wilkie, the head of Tata's United Kingdom strip steel business, former Alcan senior executive and venture capitalist Roger Maggs, Simon Gibson, chief executive officer of Wesley Clover and company secretary Jon Fernandez Lewis in the board.

The Government has pledged to support any buyer of the business by buying up to a quarter stake and making hundreds of millions of pounds of finance available.

Tata has not publicly set a deadline for any deal but has made it clear it cannot sustain the £1 million a day losses indefinitely.