The name of China’s Jingye Iron and Steel has recently arisen in market chatter circulating around the sale of UK long products specialist British Steel to Turkey’s Ataer Holdings. Whist not a traditional ‘stalking horse’, the Chinese steelmaker has been widely referenced as a possible buyer.
Although any move by Jingye to become involved in the acquisition have so far remained unofficial, a source from the Chinese steelmaker tells Kallanish that the company had definitely visited British Steel “… to investigate.” There was however no indication of when such a visit had taken place orwhat the results of this were. A very reliable media source in China has also confirms to Kallanish that Jingye had expressed a current interest in the plant.
“My feeling is that it is a bit of a long shot for Jingye,” one knowledgeable source in China says.
The Hebei province-based steelmaker has been investing heavily over the past two years. Some of its latest projects include the installation of a new blast furnace and converters, an increase in its electrical steel capacity, and adding a new spiral welded pipe line.
It has also been spreading its export wings as far as Africa and is involved in a steelmaking project in Laos.
Domestically, and of more relevance, Jingye Group and China Railway Materials Trading Group reached a cooperation agreement to become one of the four suppliers to China Railway projects in Xiong’an New District in 2018.