The future of two steel plants and hundreds of workers in the Black Country are under threat after Tata announced plans to sell its UK operations.
The global manufacturing giant is seeking a buyer for its UK steel arm which includes its coated narrow strip plant in Walsall and a factory in Wednesbury where it makes bright bar.
It is said to be losing £1 million a day following a collapse in the price of steel products coupled with high energy costs and climate change policies.
The situation echoes that of Caparo, which collapsed into administration last year before a series of rescue deals was agreed.
In a statement, the Indian conglomerate, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, said its board had been reviewing the recent performance of its European business and, more specifically, Tata Steel UK.
It said it was deeply concerned about the "deteriorating financial performance of the UK subsidiary" over the past year and was looking to sell its operations here, either as a whole in parts.
The statement said trading conditions in the UK and Europe had been hit by factors such as global oversupply of steel and a significant increase in third country exports.
It added: "These factors are likely to continue into the future and have significantly impacted the long-term competitive position of the UK operations in spite of several initiatives undertaken by the management and the workers of the business in recent years.
"Even under these adverse market conditions, the Tata Steel Group has extended substantial financial support to the UK business and suffered asset impairment of more than £2 billion in the last five years.
"The company has also been in deep engagement with the UK government in recent months, seeking its support to achieve the best possible outcome for the UK business, within the restrictions of State Aid Rules and other statutory limits.
"These discussions are ongoing and will continue."
Around 5,000 steel jobs have been axed in the past year but the industry continues to employ up to 25,000 workers directly at steel plants, with many more relying on the industry for jobs.
Government ministers have made it clear their priority is finding a buyer for the Tata Steel business.
The worst hit plant will be at Port Talbot in South Wales where more than 4,000 workers are directly employed.