The Government is calling on steel giant Tata to give enough time for buyers to be found for its UK business in a bid to save thousands of jobs.
Unions reacted with shock and anger at the company's decision on Tuesday night to sell its UK assets, including the country's biggest plant at Port Talbot in South Wales.
Labour has led calls for the Government to intervene to save the industry from total collapse, possibly by taking a public stake in the industry.
Business minister Anna Soubry said: "We want enough time to be able to secure a buyer. That will take months."
She insisted the Government is considering "all options" and raised the possibility of management and unions being involved in any future plans.
Union sources poured cold water on any talk of a management/union buyout.