Ataer Holding is in talks to acquire British Steel, a spokesperson for the holding owned by Turkish military pension fund Oyak Group confirms to Kallanish.
The spokesperson declined to divulge further details until the talks are concluded.
Oyak Group also holds interests in carmaker Oyak Renault, investment trust Oyak Yatirim Ortakligi, and various cement, chemistry and power companies, among others. The group supplements pensions that Turkey’s army receives from the Turkish state and offers its 360,000 members cheap loans and mortgages.
Ataer Holding owns 49.3% of Turkey’s largest steelmaker, Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari, otherwise known as Erdemir. The predominantly flat steelmaker twice issued a stock exchange statement in July denying reports it was involved in talks to buy British Steel (see Kallanish passim).
According to a Financial Times report this week, industry experts say it would be logical for a rescue of British Steel to involve some kind of commercial tie-up with Erdemir. The Turkish steelmaker does not produce enough crude steel for conversion into finished products, while British Steel has the opposite problem, meaning it could ship semi-finished product to Erdemir.
The Turkish bid involves boosting production at the Lincolnshire site and is favoured by British Steel, according to FT. It would also implement a cost reduction plan, with an aim to build a new furnace and run British Steel’s main Scunthorpe plant on gas by 2030.