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French court rejects Chinese bid for former British Steel factory

FT - British Steel’s Chinese owner has had its bid to acquire a factory in France rejected by a court as concerns grow in some European capitals about companies from the Asian superpower snapping up assets. 

Jingye Group, which saved the UK’s second-largest steelmaker from bankruptcy earlier this year, was attempting to wrest control of a small mill in north-east France that belonged to British Steel.

A parallel sale process for the Hayange site, which produces metal track for railways, was opened last year amid misgivings in Paris over the future of a manufacturing facility it deems of national importance. 

However, a tribunal in Strasbourg in charge of the dossier this week accepted an offer from Liberty House, the privately owned industrial group led by UK businessman Sanjeev Gupta. The next step is for France’s finance ministry to approve the deal, according to officials.

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