Tata Steel has appointed Standard Chartered to help find potential buyers, especially among Chinese steelmakers, for its loss-making British business. The company said on 18 April that the British bank would work alongside KPMG to scout buyers for its steel business in the UK.
The Indian conglomerate also claimed that it had already contacted 190 potential buyers. This follows the company's announcement on 30 March where it expressed interest in selling its businesses at Port Talbot and other steelmaking sites in the UK. Now, the formal sales process has commenced, but the British business is costing the company approximately £1m (€1.26m, $1.43m) a day.
Alongside the developments, the company announced the appointment of Bimlendra Jha, an executive committee member of Tata Steel Europe as the new chief executive of Tata Steel UK. Jha oversaw the sale of its Scunthorpe-based business to Greybull capital for a nominal £1. In his new role, Jha will take care of the UK business during the sales process until a buyer is roped in.
The appointment came as business secretary Sajid Javid travelled to Brussels on 18 April to discuss the steel crisis with other countries including China. Javid said that talks were useful and China had "recognised that it is a problem of overcapacity in their country".
He added that the world's second largest economy was "committing to do something about it and I think that's a very positive step forward".
Tata Steel which employs about 4,000 people at its Port Tablot site alone had earlier said that it would close its UK operations if it fails to find a buyer by 28 May. With regards to the sales process, Javid said, "The sales process, the formal process, has now begun. We're starting to be approached by interested parties. It's too early to say much about them at this stage, but the important thing is, as we said all along, we will do everything we can to help with that sales process. The steelworkers of Britain deserve nothing less."