British Steel To Be Sold To The Jingye Group
The ever-troubled British Steel has this week announced it will be bought by a private Chinese firm, potentially saving 4,000 jobs across the UK and would sign onto a deal that saves the original factory based in Scunthorpe.
The Jingye Group is a manufacturing giant specialising in the production of steel, whilst also having multiple subsidiaries in other industries including tourism, hospitality and finance.
The company has made significant gains on the back of crises among well-established businesses or even economies – it emerged as one of the strongest forces in manufacturing on the back of the global recession in 2008 and employs around 20,000 employees already.
Factories To Stay Open
A sales contract has been signed by representatives from both companies, which includes within it a deal to keep the company’s factories in Scunthorpe, Teesside and Skinningrove open, and will now be subject to intense scrutiny from UK regulatory bodies as well as consultation and feedback from employees currently working for the manufacturer.
The Chinese firm now intends to pump around £1.2bn worth of cash into the company over the next ten years, focusing its efforts on decreasing emissions, improving standards of energy efficiency and updating all elements of physical manufacturing to bring it firmly into the digital age.
However, before a deal is formally agreed upon and goes through all the necessary regulatory checks, there is no guarantee that the company – and the thousands of people who work for it – are safe from losing their jobs.
The move from Jingye has been welcomed by prominent figures in the trade union Unite, as well as the current MP for Scunthorpe, Labour’s Nic Dakin, who believe that this new investment will re-energise the manufacturing industry in Britain – particularly in areas where it’s one of the most prominent sectors for the local economy and working population.
It had been reported for months that British Steel would potentially be taken over by Turkish manufacturing firm Ataer Holding, though rumours of a rival bid appeared almost as soon as the company went public with their offer.
But with Jingye and government representatives having now signed a deal worth an estimated £50m, the fate of British Steel is in the hands of its new Chinese owners.