Guangzhou-based Cedar Holdings has bought UK-based Stemcor, one of the world’s largest independent steel trading groups, in the latest foray by a Chinese company into Britain’s steel sector, reported the Financial Times.
The Chinese group paid about $150 million for privately owned Stemcor, according to one person familiar with the matter.
Steve Graf, chief executive of Stemcor, told the Financial Times: “I’m very happy, they will be a good shareholder and have a lot of experience.” The move follows Chinese industrial conglomerate Jingye’s rescue of British Steel for $50 million last year.
Questions have been raised about the interest of Chinese companies in the industry, given past cases of Beijing steelmakers dumping underpriced products into the EU market. Graf said he had no concerns about being bought by a Chinese company in the light of mounting imports of cheap metal, coupled with the US-China trade war, that have contributed to falling profits for some UK steelmakers.