London — Time is of the essence if the UK authorities are to broker a rescue of British Steel after it collapsed into liquidation, putting 25,000 jobs at risk. British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House has emerged as one potential bidder for the country’s second-largest steel producer, two sources told Reuters on Thursday. The Financial Times reported that Chinese group Hesteel, which owns a steel plant in Serbia, and private equity fund Endless, could also be bidders. A buyer would need to be in place within two to three months as the business needs access to £400m to £500m of working capital and a cash injection in excess of £75m, one of the sources said. Business minister Greg Clark said British Steel was open to new buyers while the opposition Labour Party and trades unions have called for the steelmaker to be nationalised. Based in Scunthorpe, northern England, British Steel employs about 5,000 people directly, while 20,000 more depend on its supply chain. It is own...

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