Sun, Jul 01, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Thyssenkrupp, Tata sign steelmaking merger deal

AFP, FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany

German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp AG on Friday said it had finally agreed the merger of its steelmaking business with India’s Tata Steel Ltd, making the merged firm Europe’s second-biggest steelmaker.

Conceived to take on the flood of cheap Chinese steel unbalancing world markets, the merged firm known as “Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel” is to be based in the Netherlands. It would be second only to ArcelorMittal SA in the European steel industry.

Thyssenkrupp’s executive and supervisory boards agreed to “create a 50/50 joint venture, which will combine the European steel businesses of Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel,” the Essen-based group said in a statement.

Final signatures would follow “shortly,” it added, while competition authorities in the EU and other jurisdictions must still approve the merger agreement.

Bosses hope the tie-up, which took more than two years to negotiate, would create between 400 million euros and 500 million euros (US$468 million and US$585 million) per year in savings.

The merged firm is to boast 48,000 employees spread around 34 sites, producing about 21 million tonnes of steel per year for revenues of about 15 billion euros.

Thyssenkrupp and Tata previously said that the merger would mean about 4,000 jobs would be slashed in both production and administration, split evenly between the two firms.

In December last year, Thyssenkrupp offered guarantees against layoffs and site closures to powerful German trade union IG Metall.

Workers had demonstrated several times against the plans by the group, whose products range from elevators to submarines.

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