The commodities trading firm which rescued engineering group Caparo last year has confirmed it will lodge a bid to buy Tata Steel's troubled UK arm.
Liberty House, which is run by the Gupta family, said today it planned to put in a formal bid to buy Tata Steel's UK assets which includes two plants in the Black Country.
Tata Steel UK runs a coated narrow strip plant in Walsall and a factory in Wednesbury where it makes bright bar, employing in the region of 800 staff.
It also owns the country's biggest steel plant in Port Talbot, South Wales, where it has around 4,000 staff.
Tata Steel has previously said its loss-making operations in the UK have been hit by a collapse in the price of steel products coupled with high energy costs and climate change policies.
A spokesman for Liberty said: "We can confirm that Liberty will submit a letter of intent to Tata Steel today and has put in place a strong internal transaction steering committee and panel of leading external advisers to take the bid forward.
"We hope to make a further short statement later today."
Liberty House bought several parts of collapsed steel group Caparo late last year including Caparo Tubular Solutions, which has bases in Oldbury and Bilston.
A management buyout team is also planning to submit a bid to Tata Steel under the name Excalibur Steel UK.
It has appointed investment banker Mark Rhydderch-Roberts as a non-executive director.
He joins Stuart Wilkie, the head of Tata's United Kingdom strip steel business, former Alcan senior executive and venture capitalist Roger Maggs, Simon Gibson, chief executive officer of Wesley Clover, and company secretary Jon Fernandez Lewis on the board.
The Government has pledged to support any buyer of the business by buying up to a quarter stake and making hundreds of millions of pounds of finance available.
Tata Steel has not publicly set a deadline for any deal but has made it clear it cannot sustain the £1 million a day losses indefinitely.