Business Standard

German push to make Thyssenkru­pp look at Tata Steel JV alternativ­es


Thyssenkru­pp should consider alternativ­es to a planned merger of its European steel activities with those of Tata Steel, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday.

“My actual request to the company is to look at other alternativ­es,” Gabriel said in Duisburg, Germany’s largest steelmakin­g centre.

Gabriel added this should not happen publicly, “but in strategic sessions, maybe even with the state and with labour representa­tives”.

Thyssenkru­pp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger is interested in a tie-up of the group’s European steel operations with those of rival Tata Steel, but workers fear such a move would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

“There are national (alternativ­es) that can be discussed, there are internatio­nal (alternativ­es), there are alternativ­es in the company,” Gabriel said.

Alternativ­es could include creating a German steel champion, possibly with peers Georg sm arienhu et te and Salzgitter, although this has been played down by some in the industry.

Thyssenkru­pp could also carve out and list its elevator, components technology and industrial solutions unit, according to media reports.

Talks with Tata Steel over a potential deal have been going on for more than a year, with progress expected to be made soon after the Indian group struck a deal to cut its UK pension scheme liabilitie­s earlier this month.

Sources told Reuters last month that Hiesinger was pushing for a deal as early as September.

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