Hong Kong-listed GR Life Style in talks to buy historic steel trader Stemcor

A Hong Kong-listed firm is in talks to purchase Stemcor, the historic British metal buying and selling group, amid stress from its lenders to safe new possession.

Sky News has learnt that GR Life Style, a property firm, is the popular bidder for Stemcor following months of talks with a sequence of potential patrons.

City sources stated on Friday {that a} deal was not sure to materialise.

GR Life Style, which is an actual property developer and property supervisor, seems to haven’t any historic hyperlink to the metal buying and selling business.

Stemcor, which was based in 1951 by Hans Oppenheimer, a German immigrant to the UK who constructed it into a world powerhouse, is among the world’s largest gamers in its sector.

Since July final 12 months, it has been owned by ShouYe Holdings, one other Hong Kong-based entity.

However, its syndicate of lenders, which is known to incorporate HSBC and the Dutch financial institution ING, is claimed to have utilized stress to the corporate to hunt new house owners amid unspecified considerations about its final possession.

Dozens of banks are understood to have publicity to Stemcor owing to its substantial buying and selling e-book.

Stemcor was based by the daddy of veteran Labour politician Dame Margaret Hodge

GR Life Style has a market capitalisation of about HK$2.5bn, equal to roughly £265m.

The worth that it could pay to amass Stemcor was unclear on Friday.

Insiders stated quite a few UK-based buyers had tabled rival presents to amass Stemcor, which is known to stay extremely worthwhile.

A supply near the state of affairs stated: “Stemcor Global Holdings Ltd has had record results in FY2021 and FY2022, and continues to trade well in FY2023, with solid profitability.

“Stemcor has acquired appreciable curiosity in a possible sale of its enterprise and talks with potential purchasers are at a sophisticated stage, while the ahead order e-book stays sturdy.”

While GR Life Style just isn’t sure to strike a deal to purchase the enterprise, it’s probably to take action, they added.

Stemcor’s founder was the daddy of Dame Margaret Hodge, the veteran Labour MP.

Until the summer season of 2022, it was a part of Cedar Holdings Group, a mainland Chinese firm which was reported final 12 months to be struggling to repay its money owed.

Stemcor bumped into monetary problem after the 2008 monetary disaster, and was pressured right into a radical debt restructuring.

It was in the end cut up into two corporations, with the opposite – Moorgate Industries – principally comprising property in India.

Read extra on Sky News:
Wetherspoons toasts first annual earnings since pandemic
Metro Bank kicks off £3bn mortgage e-book sale
Musk might be made to testify in Twitter sale investigation

Dame Margaret, a long-standing critic of the tax avoidance ways employed by multinational corporations, was reported in 2015 to have been a beneficiary of the winding-up of a Liechtenstein basis which held shares in Stemcor.

She stated on the time that she had “paid all relevant taxes in full”.

Neither she nor any members of her household maintain any residual curiosity in Stemcor.

Stemcor declined to touch upon Friday.