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JSW, Nucor among 7 bidders picked to advance in sale of Tata Steel's UK arm

Tata Steel Ltd.said May 9 that it has selected seven expressions of interest submitted for itsloss-making U.K. arm tobe taken to the next stage of the sale process.

Meanwhile, the company is clarifying outstanding points witha number of other parties who showed interest in Tata Steel UK Ltd. The steel major noted thatbidders targeting partsof the U.K. business were not being taken forward.

"Tata Steel Europe's primary intention is to assess expressionsof interest for the whole of Tata Steel's UK business. The seven expressions ofinterest being immediately taken forward are on this basis," the statementread.

Separately, the FinancialTimes wrote that JSW Steel Ltd.has emerged as one of the seven bidders for Tata's troubled U.K. business.

Meanwhile, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reutersthat JSW has bid for the assets, with one of the sources saying the bid is in linewith JSW's goal to become the third-largest steel company in the world.

"As part of the company's growth strategy, the company evaluatesseveral opportunities including the current opportunity of UK steel facilities,"the Indian firm was quoted as saying by the newswire.

Sources also revealed that other bidders for Tata Steel UK includea Chinese group, U.S. steelmaker NucorCorp., Sanjeev Gupta's commodities trader Liberty House, Greybull, as well as Tata Steel's managementbuyout team Excalibur.

However, a Nucor spokeswoman declined to comment, saying "weare always looking for good opportunities" like most companies.

In the next stage, the interested parties will be given furtherbusiness information and management team presentations to help them progress theirinterest to a binding stage.

The director of trade body U.K. Steel, Gareth Stace, said theseven potential buyers demonstrated that the U.K.'s steel industry remains viable,and that it was only hampered by cheap imports from China, the strong pound andpolicy.