Bankers draft Tata Steel bailout plans

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The Treasury has asked investment bankers to devise a bailout for Britain’s biggest steelmaker after months of talks over a deal that could save thousands of jobs.Credit Suisse, along with management consultancy McKinsey, is to advise on negotiations with Tata Steel, which owns the Port Talbot plant in south Wales which employs 3,500 people.

Banking sources told Sky News that Credit Suisse will work on a pro bono basis, ending speculation that the government’s talks with the Indian industrial conglomerate have ended.

Steel industry insiders have said Tata Steel is on the verge of seeking a substantial injection of public funds, but officials have rejected it because the parent company allegedly wrote off equivalent debts without committing much of its new capital. Tata, long under siege, employs around 8,000 people in the UK.

Some of Credit Suisse’s top bosses have already been enlisted to help the government amid the economic fallout from Covid-19, having played a pivotal role in advising ministers after the financial crash.

Former Credit Suisse banker Charles Donald heads UK Government Investments (UKGI), which oversees Project Birch, the bailout program for companies considered structurally important to the UK economy but which have failed to secure funding from other sources.

A government spokesperson said: “We remain very supportive of the UK steel industry and its valuable contribution to the UK economy. The government regularly uses external advice to better understand how to support businesses. ”

Tata Steel Europe said: “We are in active talks with the UK government on several options for the future of our UK operations, including potential cooperation and government involvement to create a sustainable carbon footprint for the UK. to come up.

“Given the current market conditions and the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that our UK operations are facing structural challenges that need to be addressed urgently. Discussions with the government are constructive and ongoing, and at this stage, no decision has been taken.

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