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Liberty House promises zero job losses at Tata Steel UK if bid succeeds

One of the companies intent on snapping up the British assets of Tata Steel said that layoffs weren't on the cards.

Liberty House's CEO Sanjeev Gupta told CNBC on Friday that he's committed to sustaining all current jobs if the bid for Tata Steel UK is successful and will concentrate on re-training existing steel workers.

The company's turnaround plan is fundamentally focused around changing Tata Steel UK from a producer of primary steel to a recycler of domestic steel scrap, Gupta told CNBC's "Capital Connection."

"The number of workers are the same [under our blueprint] so no change is expected in the total number of people."

Earlier this week, Liberty Housean international metals businessformally submitted a letter of intent to buy out Tata Steel UK, an arm of Tata Steel, which is a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata Group. A team made up of Tata Steel UK executives named Excalibur is also one of the interested bidders, Reuters reported.

A general aerial view of Tata Steel in Port Talbot, Wales.
Matthew Horwood | Getty Images
A general aerial view of Tata Steel in Port Talbot, Wales.

The bidding competition follows Tata Group's announcement in March that it is selling its troubled U.K. operations amid a tough market environment. A flood of Chinese imports at unfairly low prices as well as higher energy costs resulting from new climate change policies have hurt U.K. steel manufacturers.

Gupta was confident that his focus on recycling would help restore Tata's health.

"There is an abundance of competitive raw material available domestically. We export two-thirds of steel scrap already and the supply will double over the next 10-15 years. There will be plentiful supply so the model itself is compelling."

Among Tata's British steel assets are the Port Talbot plant in Wales as well as sites in Newport, Rotherham, Corby, Shotton and Teesside.

But the successful owner of these plants won't be able to restructure operations alone.

Tata Steel owes an estimated 15 billion pounds under the British Steel retirement scheme for thousands of current and former workers entitled to pensions, a factor that complicates the bidding process.

To help with the matter, U.K. Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced last week that the government will be offering "hundreds of millions of pounds" in debt relief via loans, grants and a potential 25 percent equity stake.

"That's the big piece in the equation that needs to be solved. The government is working hard at it, we don't know what the solution will be," said Gupta.

"We have every assurance that they will work on a solution."

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