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Liberty House plans bid for Tata Steel UK ops

SanjeevGupta's Liberty House confirmed that it will submit a bid for Tata Steel Ltd.'s loss-makingU.K. operations by May 3, London's FinancialTimes reported May 1, citing a Liberty House spokesman.

"Wecan confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel on Tuesdayand has put in place a strong internal transaction team and panel of leading externaladvisers to take the bid forward," the FTquoted a Liberty House representative as saying.

The tradingcompany is reportedly working with former Tata Steel executives including Jon Boltonand Australia's Macquarie Bank to advise on the bid and to potentially fund theoffer with a US$1 billion credit line, while a Tata Steel management buyout teamis also mulling over a bid for the troubled business.

Meanwhile,over 60 consortiums are said to be examiningthe business, which TataSteel acquired in a £6.7 billion deal with Corus in 2007.

In orderto facilitate the sale of Tata SteelUK Ltd.'s assets, the government said it would acquire up to in the new business, aswell as offered hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt financing to lure buyers. However, the U.K.'s businesssecretary Sajid Javid has said the potential buyers may not be interested in acquiringthe business if they are also required to take over the pension plan.

Earlierin March, Tata Steel agreed to sellits Clydebridge and Dalzell steel facilities in Scotland to Liberty House throughthe Scottish government.