British Steel has strengthened its presence in the automotive and stockholding sectors with the acquisition of Midlands-based Firsteel for £26.6m.
Firsteel, which was a management buy-out from Lonhro in 1992, comprises three steel businesses. More than half its output is for components for the automotive sector.
In the year to September 1996, Firsteel recorded turnover of £74m with pre-tax profits of £4.5m. Last year it signed a £100m contract with Dunlop-Topy for the supply of wheel rims over five years.
John Palmer, chairman of Firsteel, said there would be no enforced job losses at any of the group’s businesses, although eight jobs are going at head office. These include Palmer himself, other members of the buy-out team, and support staff.
Firsteel has invested £10-£15m since 1992 at its Bromford and Walsall cold rolling mills and organic coating line.
It operates two distribution outlets, mainly serving the automotive sector at Wednesbury and Brierley Hill. The former is close to the steel processing centre British Steel opened last year to serve the motor industry.