Corus will finally have a new owner this week - and there are fears that its first move will be to cut thousands of jobs in the steelmaking industry.
Indian firm Tata Steel was today set to trump a Brazilian rival’s offer for the steelmaker, which employs more than 1,200 on 13 sites across the West Midlands.
It will prompt a frantic bidding war after the Stock Exchange’s Takeover Panel has decided to hold an auction for the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker to end the three-month takeover battle.
The ultimate winner will be revealed at 3am on Thursday after a bidding finale comprising nine knockout rounds.
The former British Steel group has agreed a 515p a share offer from CSN of Brazil, beating two previous offers from Tata.
But the Indian steel giant is expected to submit a higher bid, of at least 550p a share, this week. It is not known if CSN, whose bid is made up of more debt than Tata Steel’s, will increase its offer in response.
Analysts believe that a successful bid by the Indian group is likely to result in UK job losses sooner than under CSN’s ownership.
Both Tata and CSN want to buy Corus for its technology, its finished-products operations and its customer base.