France has threatened to quash Jingye’s deal to purchase British Steel, which collapsed several months ago and impelled the Chinese company to buy it for $87.3mn.
Hayange Steel, a France-based British Steel asset, which would be included in the deal, is at the center of France’s position against the acquisition.
The Hayange plant is a prominent track supplier to French state-owned company SNCF. As a result, Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, has informed UK chancellor Sajid Javid that the deal will be disallowed because of the plant’s importance.
The deal between British Steel and Jingye has left 4,000 jobs hanging in the balance.
British Steel has lost $1.32mn a day following the UK government—which remains confident the deal with Jingye will go through—intervened to fund the company. A British Steel spokesperson said the deal is supposed to be finalized in the coming weeks.
The National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating committee said, because the company is in liquidation, the new owners can offer minimum term and condition contracts and there will be no legal obligation to consult any changes. It added that special managers have made clear that if the deal with Jingye does not go through, there will be no further sale and British Steel will be broken up and sold in parts.