Tata Steel reaches out to 190 parties for sale of UK assets

Tata Steel Monday said it has reached out to 190 potential financial and industrial investors for selling its UK assets, while appointing Standard Chartered Bank as an additional advisor to scout for buyers in Asia and the Far East.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 18, 2016, 18:43 PM IST
Tata Steel reaches out to 190 parties for sale of UK assets

London: Tata Steel Monday said it has reached out to 190 potential financial and industrial investors for selling its UK assets, while appointing Standard Chartered Bank as an additional advisor to scout for buyers in Asia and the Far East.

It also said that Executive Chairman of Tata Steel Europe's Long Products Europe business Bimlendra Jha will be appointed as CEO of Tata Steel UK.

"In order to provide further support to run and manage a global sale process, Tata Steel Europe has appointed Standard Chartered bank as an additional adviser to the process to ensure the coverage and reach of the universe of potential buyers, especially to Asia and the Far East," it said.

They will work alongside KPMG LLP, whose appointment was announced on April 11, the statement added.

"Over the last 7 days, the advisers to Tata Steel Europe have begun initial exploration of interest in Tata Steel's UK operations reaching out to 190 potential financial and industrial investors worldwide," it said.

More detailed information sharing will commence this week as the process moves into the confidential phase, it added.

With initiation of the sale process for UK business, the plan of Tatas to play a leading role in UK's once-storied sector, which the Indian conglomerate had entered nearly a decade ago with a USD 14-billion takeover with much fanfare, is coming to an end.

Tatas entered UK's steel sector, that once dominated the British economy, in early 2007 with acquisition of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus after a fiercely fought takeover battle with Brazil's CSN -- which till date remains the biggest ever overseas acquisition by an Indian group.

Last week, Tata Steel UK appointed KPMG LLC as process advisor for the "thorough, but expedited sale" of its entire shareholding in its subsidiary Tata Steel UK, which includes Britain's largest steel plant at Port Talbot.

At the same time the embattled firm announced "signing of an agreement to sell its Long Products Europe business to family investment office, Greybull Capital.

Jha, who is currently Executive Chairman of Tata Steel Europe's Long Products Europe business, successfully led the divestment process that resulted in the signing of a sale and purchase agreement with Greybull Capital on April 11.

In his new position, he will report to Tata Steel Europe CEO Hans Fischer, Tata Steel Europe said in a statement.

Jha will be supported by a team of executives drawn across functions including operations, procurement, finance, human resources and commercial, it added.

Group Executive Director of Tata Steel Koushik Chatterjee said: "Today's announcement by Tata Steel Europe will ensure the full focus on the vital tasks that lie ahead of Tata Steel UK."

Jha's successful experience of the process of divestment of Long Products Europe will be invaluable as Tata Steel Europe explores strategic alternatives for its operations in the UK, he added.

"He will be supported by a team with immense operating experience of the UK business. To deliver greater clarity for all key stakeholders such as employees, customers and suppliers, it is important for the new team to seek all credible options in a time bound manner," Chatterjee said.