British Steel bought out of administration, 3,200 jobs rescued

British Steel Limited (BSL) has been bought out of administration by Chinese steel giant Jingye. 

The completed sale, which was overseen by special managers at EY and the official receiver, has now safeguarded 3,200 jobs. Some 400 employees did not receive offers of employment, however.

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In November 2019, the official receiver and special managers from EY confirmed that a sales contract had been entered into with Jingye Steel (UK) Ltd and Jingye Steel (UK) Holding Ltd to acquire the business and assets of British Steel.

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. 

As part of the deal, Jingye Group has pledged to invest £1.2bn over 10 years to “modernise” British Steel sites and “boost energy efficiency” through modern technologies and new product lines for UK and global markets.

Discussions will now continue to “resolve the regulatory approvals” required to sell BSL’s French subsidiary to Jingye.

Sam Woodward, special manager at EY, said: “Maintaining the business in challenging market conditions whilst the right deal was secured, is testament to the commitment of BSL’s employees, customers, suppliers and the trade unions. 

“Jingye has shown a great desire to effect ambitious plans that will invest in British Steel and help the business to once again be competitive on the world map.”  

David Chapman, the official receiver appointed as liquidator alongside EY, said: “My team and the special managers at EY are very pleased to have completed the sale. 

“This is the best outcome in the liquidation and also ensures continued high-quality raw steel production in Scunthorpe.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “The sounds of these steelworks have long echoed throughout Yorkshire and Humber and the North East. 

“Today, as British Steel takes its next steps under Jingye’s leadership, we can be sure these will ring out for decades to come.”

He added: “I’d like to thank every British Steel employee in Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside for their dedication and resilience which has kept the business thriving over the past year. 

“Jingye’s pledge to invest £1.2bn into the business is a welcome boost that will not just secure thousands of jobs, but ensure British Steel continues to prosper.”

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