London : Tata Steel UK’s senior staff are believed to be finalising plans to bid for a management buyout of the Indian group’s troubled Welsh steelworks which may require a cash injection of around 100 million pounds.
Stuart Wilkie, managing director of Tata Strip Products UK, is heading the buyout team which is on the hunt for private investors and government support for an official bid for the Port Talbot plant, which employs around 4,000 people.
The team’s rescue plan reportedly centres around keeping the blast furnaces going, in contrast to a plan drafted by Indian-origin tycoon Sanjeev Gupta who is working on a bid for the unit by his Liberty House group.
According to UK media reports, Wilkie’s bid is based on a “turnaround plan” presented to and rejected by the Tata Board in Mumbai earlier this year. That plan will require a cash injection of around 100 million pounds and could involve Tata employees investing in the business.
Steel union Community said it was open to “discussions” with Wilkie and any management buyout option.
The option has support among a section of workers and others campaigning to save thousands of jobs.
“Tata Steel Europe welcomes credible expressions of interest for Tata Steel’s UK operations. It is our policy that we are not naming, confirming or commenting on any potentially interested investor or bidder at this point.
All expressions of interest, including any Management Buy Out proposals, will be considered when received.
“In the interests of all stakeholders every credible expressions of interest will enter the same rigorous assessment process to ensure the best value and prospects of sustainability,” said a Tata Steel statement.