Cirteq responds to British Steel buy out

Member News

Giant steel manufacturer British Steel has recently been bought by Jinge Group, headquartered near Bejing. The new owners have plans to invest and save jobs, we asked Made in Yorkshire member Cirteq, who purchase from British Steel, their thoughts on the matter. 

British Steel Limited, prodominently based in Scunthorpe, supply and manufacture high-quality steel products to a range of markets all over the world. With a network of service centres and metal centres across the UK and Ireland, they are able to serve their customers efficently and on time. The manufacturing firm has now been sold to Jinge Group, a multi-industrial company that specialise in iron and steel. 

The Chinese company plan to invest £1.2 billion into the company and retain as “many employees across the business as possible.” They want to combine the two businesses to create a “world class steelmaking group with global scale and ambition.” Bringing the expertise of both businesses together, Jinge hopes to secure a promising future for British steel through the continued production of high-quality steel products. 

Li Gampo, chairman of Jinge Group said:  

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement . As a young company with large ambitions we have long admired British Steel and appreciate its illustrious heritage. We share with the thousands of British Steel workers a passion for this industry and we are determined that together we can transform this business.

Along with the intention to maintain the 4,000 UK jobs at British Steel, the large investment will see an upgrade in plants and machinery, improving enviromental performance and boosting energy efficiency.

With these plans in place, this will mean that companies and manufacturers across the UK who buy from British Steel will be able to make purchases as usual. Made in Yorkshire member Cirteq buy a significant amount of steel from the manufacturer, so we asked Business development Manager Alex Firnigal from Cirteq his thoughts on the new arrangement for the company. 

Cirteq purchase around 2,000 tons of steel from British Steel, almost half of their yearly amount of material. The remaining 2,200 tons are sourced from other companies, which includes those outside of the UK. Alex said:

“We purchase steel from other companies to mitigate risk as efficiently as possible. This means if British Steel were to see any problems occur, where they couldn’t produce any more steel, we can still provide our customers with the products that are required” 

Yorkshire based company Cirteq has sourced material from British Steel since the 1960s, and have seen the company sold by other firms before. Cirteq buy from British Steel because they can provide them with the specialised steel they need, Alex added: 

“We have always bought from British Steel for the specialist steel we require that is specific for our Circlips.”

Alex added:

“We want to stay with a UK supplier, and with British Steel being the biggest, this our way of Backing Britain.” 

As the company will carry on business as usual, under new owners, companies such as Cirteq will be able to purchase steel as they would previously. Alex mentioned that it is important for a massive manufacturer such as British Steel to stay in the UK. He said: 

“To have lost British Steel would have been a great loss to businesses with in the UK who buy from the manufacturer. However, it would have also been a loss to the country as a whole, because we led the way in the industrial revolution in making steel and to this Day remain one of the global leaders in quality steel production.”  

With plans to combine the two companies, Alex thinks this will benefit both Britain and China, especially during these uncertain times with Brexit looming over us. He also mentioned that this will help Britain integrate around the world:

“You could argue that East Asian steel has a reputation, rightly or wrongly, of lower quality than Western Steel, therefore by being part of British Steel it will give them a foothold in the industry. With knowledge from Britain combined with financial backing of China, which is set to become the largest economy in the world, there is the opportunity to achieve amazing things.”