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British Steel negotiations are ongoing: Turkey's OYAK

Bursa — Open-ended negotiations for a takeover of British Steel by OYAK Holding, Turkey's biggest complementary pension fund,are ongoing, an OYAK company source told S&P Global Platts Thursday. The Turkish group signed an exclusivity agreement mid-August to buy British Steel, currently in liquidation and seeking a buyer.

OYAK's statement follows news in the Turkish media Thursday that the Turkish group could finalize the deal at the beginning of November, citing a statement by UK's Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley.

According to a UK-based TeessideLive news report seen by Platts, the MP stated: "A large team from the company have been in the UK looking in detail at the operational, regulatory and financial situation at British Steel as part of the duediligence process...Officials are working at pace and there are no delays to the original timeframe of 6 to 8 weeks," According to an OYAK statement previously sent to Platts, after the successful completion of a detailed inspection process at the end of October, the handover was expected to occur by year-end. Turkish military pension fund OYAK is Ataer Holding's parent company, which is the largest shareholder in Erdemir, the nation's biggest steel producer.

While exclusive talks were already underway between the Official Receiver and preferred bidder OYAK over the sale of the UK-based steel producer, Chinese steelmaker Jingye group approached the UK government with a fresh offer for British Steel at the beginning of October, as Platts has reported.

British Steel, which went into compulsory liquidation on May 22, has about 3 million mt/year of production capacity in the UK, France and the Netherlands.

-- Cenk Can, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Diana Kinch, diana.kinch@spglobal.com