In 2018, the China Baowu Group was the 2nd largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~67 million tonnes (mt) of steel.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
2016: Baowu formed from acquisition by Baosteel of Wuhan Iron & Steel.
2016: Business renamed as China Baowu Iron & Steel Group Co.
2017: Baowu considers major stainless steel investment in Shadong.
2018: Baowu reportedly in talks to take over rival Magang Group.
2019: Takes 51% stake in Magang Group Holding Co (Maanshan Steel).
2019: Sets up JV with Japan's JFE Steel Corporation.
2020: Plans purchase of controlling stake in Chongqing I&S.
2020: Considers role in development of Simandou ore mine, Guinea.
2016: The Q3 2016 acquisition of Wuhan I&S (Wisco) by Baoshan Steel was considered by many industry observers to be the first step in the creation of a steel producer second only in output to ArcelorMittal.
2016: Baoshan Iron & Steel Co was renamed as the China Baowu Iron & Steel Group Co in November 2016.
In mid-2017, Baowu Steel signed a memorandum of co-operation with Shandong Xinhai Technology Co relating to investment in a stainless steel plant in Shandong province. This new facility will reportedly produce up to 3.8 mt/year of stainless steel and 1.8 mt/year of nickel pig iron.
Baowu's strategy is to reach 100 million tons of capacity by 2021 (from 70 million tons in 2017); acquisition of Magang Steel Group thus fits in wi the strategic objectives of the firm.
Baowu and Magang are geographically close to each other, with Magang headquartered in Maanshan city in China's eastern Anhui province (a four-hour drive from Shanghai, where Baowu Group is based).
Baowu mainly produces flat steel products. Magang's output includes both flat and long steel products.
June 2019 acquisition by Baowu Iron and Steel Group of a 51% equity stake in Magang Group Holding Co Ltd [referred to as a 'merger'] took Baowu’s total production capacity from 70 million tons to 90 million tons, bringing it closer to the 113-million-ton total capacity of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker.
Magang Steel is also known as the Maanshan Iron and Steel Company Limited, or Maanshan Iron and Steel; or just Masteel.
2019: The JFE Steel Corporation joint venture was with a Baowu subsidiary, the Guangdong Shaoguan Iron and Steel Songshan Co (SGIS). Under the jv agreement, JFE Steel got a 50% share of Baosteel Special Steel Shaoguan Co, Ltd (BSSS), a 100% subsidiary of SGIS, for the production and sale of specialty bar steel.
2020: Press comments in January 2020 mentioned Baowu's plans to acquire a controlling stake in Chongqing Iron and Steel Co Ltd. That same month, Chongqing's holding company - the Four Rivers Investment Management Co Ltd - signed a letter of intent with China Baowu regarding the transferring of a controlling equity stake,
in a deal that was expected to be completed by mid-2020. In its development plan published in November 2017, China Baowu set the strategic goal of expanding steel output from 80 million tons by 2021. The acquisition of Chongqing Iron and Steel Co Ltd allows Baowu to attain this goal.
2020: Simandou is one of the largest high-grade iron ore deposits in the world, but it has struggled to enter production for years. Industry experts consider that the cost of getting the mine operational (including investment in a cross-country railway and deep water port) could be as high as $15 billion.