The news last week that Tata Steel was likely to buy Corus, formerly British Steel, prompted barely a reference to Britain's waning industrial glory, although the Daily Mirror (18 Oct) could not resist pointing out that ‘the old British steel empire could be swallowed in a £4bn Indian takeaway'.
But likely job losses loomed large, despite Tata's assurance that jobs were safe in the short term. ‘Tata steel jobs?' (Daily Mirror); ‘Unions look for comfort over jobs' (The Times); ‘Job fears as Corus agrees £4.3bn bid' (icwales.co.uk, all 21 October) ran the headlines, overshadowing a deal that would make Tata the world's fifth-largest steel producer.
Also sabotaging Tata's carefully scripted messages about its contribution to the Corus company pension, and the potential for growth, was the emergence of a rival bidder for Corus, and the City's disappointment with Tata's offer.
Analysts were also ‘less than impressed' (The Independent, 23 Oct), and their predictions of a ‘global bidding war' (scotsman.com, 23 Oct) appeared to come true as Brazilian steel group CSN entered the fray.
Tata and Corus must be steeling themselves for some tough times - and headlines - ahead.