Tata Steel board put sale of UK steel business on hold  

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Mumbai/London, Jul 8: Putting on hold its UK business sale amid Brexit uncertainty, Tata Steel today decided to explore other alternatives including joint venture with German giant ThyssenKrupp AG. Tata Steel after its board meeting today announced that it has decided to look at alternative and more sustainable portfolio solutions for the European businesses.

The company has now entered into discussions with strategic collaborations through a potential joint venture. However the talks are currently at preliminary stage and there can be no certainty of a transaction as the outcome depends on consultation and negotiations with various stake holders, a company statement said here.

Tata put sale of UK business on hold

In March this year, Tata steel announced that it would explore strategic alternatives for its UK business, including the potential sale of the business as a whole or in parts. The company and its advisers then contacted around 200 potential financial and industrial investors around the world to explore their interest in the business.

The company has also deeply engaged with the Government of the UK and Wales at every stage of the process. Meanwhile, UK business minister Sajid Javid today 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.

Javid's meeting with Tata management was crucial amid the reports that Tata Steel may "pause" its plans to sell off most of the troubled UK units, including the mammoth Port Talbot steelworks in Wales. Although Javid did not meet the media, he later tweeted, "Just finished meeting with Tata Steel in Mumbai. Now off to Delhi for talks on UK/India trade."

"This is part of our ongoing dialogue with Tata to maintain momentum and achieve a long-term solution for UK steelmaking," the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had said in a statement in UK yesterday.

The steel major is expected to proceed with the sale of its speciality steel making business, which employs 2,000 employees in sites of Hartlepool, Rotherham and Stocksbridge in the UK, and possibly s helve plans for the rest of its steelworks as a result of rising steel prices and uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

PTI

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