The Board of one of the world's largest steel maker met yesterday to decide on the future course of action in a bid to steer the firm's embattled operations in the UK out of the rut, which has been facing tough times on account of cheap imports and weakening prices, among other factors.

"Following the strategic view taken by the Tata Steel Board regarding the UK business, it has advised the Board of its European holding company, Tata Steel Europe, to explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts," Tata Steel said in a statement late last night.

Given the severity of the funding requirement in the foreseeable future, the Tata Steel Europe Board will be advised to evaluate and implement the most feasible option in a time bound manner, it added.

Last month in an unexpected turn of events, Tata Steel had said Karl Koehler, the CEO of its embattled overseas arm Tata Steel Europe, has resigned and the firm has appointed Chief Technical Officer Hans Fischer as its new chief.

Reviewing the performance of its European operations, particularly those in the UK, Tata Steel Board noted with "deep concern the deteriorating financial performance of the UK subsidiary in the last twelve months".

Tata Steel Board also reviewed the proposed restructuring and transformation plan for Strip Products UK, prepared by the European subsidiary in consultation with an independent and internationally reputed consultancy firm.

While the global steel demand, especially in developed markets like Europe, has remained muted following the financial crisis of 2008, trading conditions in the UK and Europe have rapidly deteriorated more recently, due to structural factors including global oversupply of steel, significant increase in third country exports into Europe, high manufacturing costs, continued weakness in domestic market demand in steel and a volatile currency.

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