LONDON, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese steelmaker Jingye Group on Monday completed the acquisition of British Steel's business and assets in Britain and the Netherlands, said the Chinese steelmaker in a statement.
The completion secures the future of approximately 3,200 jobs, said Jingye, pledging to invest 1.2 billion pounds (about 1.38 billion U.S. dollars) to place the business on a more competitive and sustainable footing.
The group also plans to return the company to industry comparable margins within five years.
The sale to Jingye includes the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK mills in Teesside and Skinningrove, shares of FN Steel BV, and the TSP Engineering business based in Cumbria, according to the British Insolvency Service, a government agency administering compulsory company liquidations.
It does not include British Steel's French operations at Hayange, the acquisition of which is still subject to further negotiations with relevant authorities in France and is hoped to be concluded separately.
Jingye Group CEO Li Huiming said the new partnership will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of British steelmaking.
"The longer I have spent in Scunthorpe, the more I have come to believe in the successful future of these steelworks and the employees that have made them famous throughout the world," said Li.
Hailing the acquisition as momentous, British Steel CEO Ron Deelen said "I'm confident we'll seize the incredible opportunity Jingye has given us to build on 150 years of heritage, and further cement British Steel's reputation as a manufacturer of world class steel."
"The sale of British Steel represents an important vote of confidence in the UK's steel industry. It also marks the start of a new era for those regions that have built their livelihoods around industrial steel production," said Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.
As the second-largest steelmaker in Britain, the British Steel collapsed in 2019 and was placed under control of the Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Based in Hebei province in China, Jingye Group produced 15 million tonnes of steel annually and exports to 80 countries around the world. Jingye had total sales of 90.1 billion RMB (approximately 13 billion dollars) and employs 23,500 people.