Tata Steel's operations in the UK could be saved after the commodities investor Liberty House confirmed that it would submit a bid for the whole of the business. The investor, headed by Sanjeev Gupta, will make an offer on Tuesday (3 May) for all the Tata's UK operations including the blast furnace site in Port Talbot and one of Tata's businesses in Yorkshire.
"We can confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel on Tuesday and has put in place a strong internal transaction team and panel of leading external advisers to take the bid forward," a Liberty House spokesman told the Financial Times.
It has not been clarified what Liberty House will want as a condition for the purchase, but Gupta has previously said the plants could be turned around and his company would only stage a takeover if large scale redundancies could be avoided.
Around 60 prospective buyers have asked for more information about Tata's UK operations, but Liberty, which is working with Australian bank Macquarie which could help with funding, is the first to make a bid.
Gupta has said he wants to convert Port Talbot from a blast furnace to an electric arc furnace operation. Tata says it wants to sell it as one unit although analysts say that splitting the business and selling off the downstream facilities could be attractive to investors.
Liberty House, which is being advised by former Tata Steel executives, managed to save two of Tata's Scottish mills in Clydebridge and Dalzell in March.
Tata Steel has set a deadline of 28 May for the sale of its UK facilities.