Tata Steel seeks European joint venture with Thyssenkrupp

Tata Steel said the asset bids were considered on the basis of their commercial value and "prospects for the future sustainability of the United Kingdom business for a range of stakeholders", as well as the uncertainties caused by the United Kingdom referendum last month.

Tata Steel Ltd. has temporarily halted the sale of its United Kingdom assets, after numerous shortlisted bidders pulled out due to uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote, according to reports citing people familiar with the matter. Koushik Chatterjee, Tata Steel's executive director for Europe, said: "It is too early to give any assurances about the success of these talks".

However, the company has said that the success of the joint venture depends on the results of the discussion with the developments on workers' pension schemes, British trade unions and government policy support.

It said its main plan was to sell the loss-making business as one and it whittled down 200 bidders to seven.

A Labour MP has called on Tata Steel come forward with a timetable for the sale of their United Kingdom assets amid reports the firm has pressed "pause" on the deal following the uncertainty created by the vote for Brexit.

In recent days, with steel prices rising again, ...

Tata say talks are now at a "preliminary stage and there can be no certainty of a transaction as the outcome depends on consultation and negotiations with various stakeholders".

Tata's British assets include a steel plant in Port Talbot, Wales, that employs 4,000 people.

Tata Steel is one of Europe's leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the United Kingdom and Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe.

According to the reports, Tata Steel is still keen to sell the business and may resume the process after the effects of Brexit become clearer.

Meanwhile, UK business minister Sajid Javid held talks here with the senior management of Tata Steel including chairman Cyrus Mistry ahead of the company s board meeting later in the day.

Indian steel giant Tata is being urged not to allow its biggest United Kingdom plant to "wither on the vine" as speculation mounts that the company is to announce the sale of part of its assets.

"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".

The British government insists that its pension and equity stake for Tata Steel U.K.'s biggest operation in Port Talbot, South Wales, is still on the table.

Hopes faded for a sale of Port Talbot after the European Union referendum result, although some of the bidders had already expressed concerns about the sluggish pace of the sale process before June 23.

"It is time for this Government to step up to the mark and put the measures in place needed to sustain a vital industry and the jobs and communities it supports".

Vanessa Coleman

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