Tata Steel Ltd. will put its British steel businesses formally up for sale Monday as it seeks to exit the country in a move that threatens thousands of jobs and has become a political flashpoint for the government.
“What they have said is that they will allow a reasonable amount of time for this process to be completed,” U.K. Business Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News after a two-hour meeting with Tata officials in Mumbai where the company is based.
The British government faces a crisis in its steel industry after Tata said last week it was considering selling its unprofitable U.K. division, jeopardizing about 15,000 jobs, including at its Port Talbot plant in South Wales. A flood of cheap Chinese exports has thrown the world steel industry into turmoil, eroding profit as prices plunge to a decade low.
Some of Tata’s assets have attracted interest, including from Liberty House, a private company that’s agreed to buy plants in Scotland. It may take three to six months to complete the sale of the assets, CNBC reported Wednesday citing people it didn’t identify.