China’s Jingye Group said on Monday it is in talks to buy British Steel in a deal estimated to be worth about 70 million pounds (US$90 million) that could help protect thousands of British jobs and ease uncertainty over the troubled steelmaker, Reuters reports.
A deal is not yet finalized, the company told the news agency following a BBC report of an imminent agreement.
A spokeswoman for Hebei-based Jingye Group said she was unclear about the value of the deal and unsure whether further details would be announced this week.
Gareth Stace, director general of industry lobby group UK Steel, also told Reuters the deal was not finalized.
“I would be surprised if it did not get finalized, but it’s not a done deal,” he said.
British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation on May 22 after Greybull Capital, which bought the firm for one pound from Tata Steel three years ago, failed to secure funding to continue its operations.
Turkey’s military pension fund OYAK said in August it had reached a provisional agreement to take over British Steel but that deal has not been finalized.
British Steel employs 4,000 people at its Scunthorpe and Teesside sites, while supporting an additional 20,000 jobs in the supply chain, BBC News said.
Another 1,000 jobs are based in France and the Netherlands, it added.
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