The Financial Times said the company's new potential owners could cut several hundred jobs at British Steel.
Turkish industrial conglomerate Oyak Group has signed an exclusive agreement to purchase the second largest British steel company, British Steel, which went bankrupt in May.
By the end of October, Ataer Holding, Oyak's investment arm, now has exclusive rights to conduct thorough financial and legal due diligence on British Steel and expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the year.
Toker Ozcan, head of the mining and metals group in Oyak, told the FT that the group's immediate goal would be to increase production. He declined to comment on the extent of the potential job loss, but said labor productivity at British Steel's main plant in Scunthorpe was "very low" compared to other European steelmakers.
“I'm not focusing on headcount, but on productivity,” he said. "We will bring productivity to the level where it should be."
According to the FT, Ataer's plans could result in hundreds of job cuts.
British Steel employs about 5,000 people, most of them in the UK. More than 3,000 people work at the Scunthorpe plant.
Ataer is reported to be in talks with the UK government for a "financial contribution" to help make British Steel's plants more environmentally friendly by converting them to hydrogen steelmaking.
However, first, Ozcan said, the factories will need to switch from coal to gas.
“We would like to convert at least 50% of the steelmaking capacity to gas,” he said. Then, he added, "with the efforts of the UK government, we want to switch from gas to hydrogen."
The UK has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but is well behind what is needed to achieve that goal, according to a recent report from the Climate Change Committee.