Seven parties are in the running to take over Tata Steel’s UK business - including its sites in South Yorkshire.
The Indian firm is looking to get rid of its 15 UK sites, including those in Stocksbridge and Rotherham which employ around 2,000 people.
But it is hoped a new buyer can be found for all of the sites, with seven expressions of interests now taken forward to the next stage of the sales process.
Mr Koushik Chatterjee, group executive director for finance and corporate services of Tata Steel Limited, said: “We have been pleased with the response to the initial stage of the global sales process for Tata Steel’s UK business.
“Today’s announcement by Tata Steel Europe marks another important stage gate in this process.
“The expressions of interest received have been through a robust initial assessment process with inputs received from the UK Government whose views have been considered by the board.
“We believe that the bids being taken forward offer future prospects of sustainability for the UK business as a whole.
“The sales process will continue as announced earlier in an expedited and robust manner to deliver greater clarity for all key stakeholders such as employees, customers and suppliers.”
He added: “Whilst the sales process continues, Tata Steel’s business in the UK under the new leadership team continues to focus on the business performance.”
The nest stage of the process will see the seven interested parties given access to further business information ahead of formal bids being made to take control of Tata’s UK operations.