LONDON Tata Steel will launch the formal sale process for its British assets by Monday and give a "reasonable" timeframe to find a buyer, Britain's business minister said after meeting the company's chairman in Mumbai.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government has sought to broker a deal with potential buyers after Tata Steel put its British operations up for sale last week, threatening thousands of jobs.
Tata had said it wanted to exit the country as soon as possible, raising fears that the government would not have enough time to find a buyer for a business that has been hit by high costs and cheap Chinese imports.
But Sajid Javid, Britain's business minister, told broadcasters after the meeting that Tata had not set a time frame and would allow a reasonable period to find a buyer.
"Formal sales process will begin by Monday - govt will do all it can to help secure a serious buyer," he said on Twitter.
(Reporting by Kate Holton and William James; editing by Stephen Addison)
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