History of Baotou Iron & Steel (Baogang Group)
Baotou Steel is part of the Baogang Group. In addition iron and steelmaking, the group also has a major presence in rare earths production.
In 2018, the Baotou Steel was the 27th largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~15 million tonnes (mt) of liquid steel.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
- 1954: Baotou Iron and Steel Company founded in 1954.
- 1997: Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Union Co Ltd obtains listing.
- 2005: Signs 10-year contract for technical cooperation with Fives.
- 2007: Ends talks with Arcelor Mittal on sale of equity stake to global giant.
- 2007: Considers merger with Baosteel in mid-2007.
- 2007: Issues shares to buy steel manufacturing assets from parent.
- 2009: Invests 260m yuan in pellet project joint venture.
- 2010: Abandons merger discussions with Baosteel.
- 2017: Investigation begins into Baotou Steel Chairman Zhou Bingli.
- 2018: Invests in slag pilot plant in jv with Colombia University.
- 2019: Two key shareholders unload 6% ownership stake.
- 2019: Zhou Bingli sentenced to 11 years in jail for taking bribes.
- 2019: Former chairman Cui Chen is jailed for taking bribes.
- 2020: Firm considers debt for equity swap to clear outstanding loans.
- 1954: The original business focus of the firm was research and production of rare earths [including niobium and thorium] as well as iron and steelmaking.
- 2005: 10-year contract with Fives was for technical support for the development and the production of a wide range of high value-added automotive steels, including the latest advanced high-strength steels.
Under this agreement, Fives was to provide high-end technological and process expertise encompassing upstream and downstream production processes: steel making, hot rolling, pickling, cold rolling, annealing and galvanizing. The cooperation agreement included extensive training, high-level technical support, development and certification of new high-end automotive steel products.
- 2006: Mittal involved in talks with Baotou to buy up to 49 percent of the firm's equity.
- 2007: Shares in the listed subsidiary were sold to the parent, Baotou Iron and Steel Group, in exchange for steelmaking assets. This enabled the Shanghai stock exchange listing to cover all the group's main manufacturing plant and equipment.
- 2009: The pellet plant investment concerned a new 1.2 million t/y oxidized pellet plant, to be built in cooperation with the Inner Mongolia Dazhong Mining Co Ltd, for an 86.67 equity stake consideration in the joint venture.
- 2010: On collapse of the merger talks with Baosteel, there was some discussion that Anshan Iron and Steel (also known as Angang) would bid for the Inner Mongolian company.
- 2018: The aim of the pilot plant project was to test and commercialize technology that can turn iron and steel slag into safe material for use in other industrial processes.
- 2019: In September 2019, the former head of the Baotou Iron and Steel Group Co was sentenced to 18 years in prison for accepting bribes of more $3.3 million. According to court documents, Cui Chen took advantage of his senior position to solicit bribes and illegally accumulate large property holdings. Cui joined Baotou Steel in 1975 and rose to the top job in 2007, when he was named Chairman. In 2010, he left Baotou Steel to join the Department of Industry and Information.
Baotou Steel made headlines in 2007 when it announced it would acquire the Huamei Rare Earth High-Tech Co. Ltd, which mines and processes highly sought after rare earth products used in hi-tech applications such as smartphones. It was this deal that became the major focus in Cui's bribery investigation. Cui was accused of taking bribes from Huamei founder Ma Yongmao in exchange for benefits in the takeover deal.
- 2019: Zhou Bingli was Cui Chens successor. He was appointed chairman of Baogang Group in 2010. Bingli left the Baogang Group in 2016.
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