British Steel has played down speculation of plant closures following the announcement of its merger with Dutch firm Hoogovens.
The merger, which will create Europe’s largest steelmaker and save e300m (£194m), is being seen by both companies as a platform for expansion. However, an undisclosed number of jobs will be lost in consolidating both companies’ headquarters.
British Steel has five main steel plants. Hoogovens has one integrated plant in the Netherlands and two aluminium plants in the Netherlands and Germany. The merged company will be called BSKH until a new name is chosen on completion of the deal this autumn.
British Steel claimed the merged company would be in a better position to serve bigger customers, such as the car industry, and would be able to offer its customers a wider variety of products.
The deal also gives British Steel further access to the European market at a time when the strong pound is damaging its exports, which account for over 50% of production.
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