GFG Alliance executive chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, expressed his interest in acquiring Tata Steel UK’s Port Talbot steelworks should the assets be offered for sale, according to an interview with The Telegraph India on August 18.
Tata Steel UK’s talks with the government were reported to have ended abruptly late last week after the British government concluded that the Tata Group was sufficiently solvent and failed to meet the criteria for access to the £500mn ($655mn) the company had been seeking.
Rumours quickly surfaced early this week that Tata Steel Europe had few options but to sell its remaining UK steel assets and its stake in Jaguar Land Rover, with a former director Tata Motors and Tata Steel saying he would not rule out a sale as both companies were “bleeding” money.
A spokesman for Tata Steel Europe stated: “We remain in ongoing and constructive talks with the UK government on areas of potential support. As these discussions have not reached a conclusion, it would be premature to comment on any options that may or may not be under consideration.”
That said, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Tata Sons group chairman, commented that the company “can’t have a situation where India keeps funding losses” at its Port Talbot steelworks in a pre-COVID-19-era interview with the Sunday Times in January 2020.
Gupta commented that the “Tatas are very close to Liberty Group [and] always have been…we are always open for every type of co-operation with them”, likely referring to Liberty Steel’s acquisition of Tata Steel UK’s (Rotherham) specialty steel plant in 2017.
Tata Steel UK’s Port Talbot steelworks has the capacity to produce 5mn mt of crude steel per annum and operates two blast furnaces & basic oxygen steel converters, sintering plant, coke ovens, granulated coal injection plant, and slab, hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised coil treatment lines.