Tata Steel eyes mega investment from UK govt in its British operations for up to 50% stake

Tata employs 8,000 people in the U.K., half of them in Port Talbot.

Tata Steel Ltd. has proposed that the U.K. government invest more than 900 million pounds ($1.2 billion) to take a stake in its British operations and protect the Port Talbot steelworks in Wales, Sky News reported, without saying where it got the information.

Under the plan, the state would control a stake of as much as 50% in Britain’s largest steelmaker, Sky said. The proposal, which is one of the options the company is considering, would also involve the Indian company writing off a similar amount of debt it’s owed by the U.K. business. The Treasury declined to comment on the Sky report. A spokesman for Tata in Mumbai said the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

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Tata employs 8,000 people in the U.K., half of them in Port Talbot. The local member of parliament, Stephen Kinnock, last month said it was urgent that the government acts to save the jobs. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has said he will set an “exceptionally high” bar for companies seeking taxpayer-funded bailouts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Financial Times reported in June that Tata was close to signing a rescue deal with the U.K. government. Both the government and Tata refused to discuss a loan application, while an official with knowledge of the matter suggested the government wasn’t near a deal with Tata, saying the FT story was off the mark.

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