In a statement made to the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges, the company said: The board of Corus confirms that is has received a proposal from Tata Steel regarding a possible recommended offer for Corus at a value of 455 pence per share in cash and that discussions are taking place between Corus and Tata Steel.
However, the statement added that although the interest shown is serious, there is no certainty that an offer will be made and that further announcements will be made as appropriate.
Corus was formed after a merger between British Steel and Dutch group Hoogovens in 1999 and now employs 24,000 people in the UK alone and around 47,300 worldwide.
It is also the largest steel recycler in the country and is leading efforts to help the Government meet its targets of recycling 54% of steel packaging by 2008 and 55% by 2010.
The proposed offer of £4.55 per share is below the current Corus share price of £4.81, but analysts have suggested that any potential deal could even cost the company as much as £5.6 billion, which represents as much as £5.80 per share.
With rapid economic growth in developing countries such as India and China, there is a huge demand for steel and Tata- which is also involved in car manufacture, tea and satellite television- is looking to add to its assets.
Any move could have implications for UK recycling as steel is currently the most recycled packaging in Europe with Corus leading the way with kerbside, can bank and magnetic extraction collections throughout this country.
In 2005 alone, through its CanRoute system that encompasses suppliers, local authorities and waste management companies, it collected 36,341 tonnes of steel packaging.
It also does a lot of work in promoting the reuse of the resource through its Steel Can Recycling Information Bureau.