Senior Port Talbot Staff ‘To Announce Buyout Plan for Tata Steel Plant’

20 April 2016

Senior staff from Tata Steel’s Port Talbot factory are expected to announce a management buyout plan for the plant.

Stuart Wilkie, the managing director of Tata Strip Products UK, was named as the leader of a group of managers who are looking for private investors and government support for their plan, which they are tipped to unveil on Wednesday.

The proposal is based on a “turnaround plan” presented to but rejected by the board of Tata, according to ITV News, which said that the bid would require funding of £100m. Tata employees could be asked to invest as much as £10,000 each.

The government said that it welcomed any interest in Tata Steel UK’s assets. A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “We are doing everything we can to help the steel industry secure a long-term viable future and welcome any interest from potential bidders, as we have outlined.”

Tata said last month that it was selling its UK steel businesses, leaving thousands of jobs in the balance at plants across the country.

More than 190 potential investors have been approached about purchasing the business, the Indian company has said.

The option of a management buyout has a strong degree of support among some workers and others campaigning to keep the steelworks open.

The only bidder to publicly express an interest is Sanjeev Gupta, the owner of commodity trader Liberty House. He has sought state backing to help rescue Tata Steel’s UK assets and has lobbied for political support to reject any plans for a management buyout of the Port Talbot plant.

An investment firm, Greybull, is buying Tata’s long products business in a move that will revive the British Steel brand and could save up to 4,400 jobs.

However, the deal does not include the Port Talbot steelworks or the rest of Tata’s UK business, which employs about 15,000 people.


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