Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel near decision on JV board: Sources
Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel are close to deciding on who would lead their planned European steel joint venture (JV), four people familiar with the matter said.
Settling on the venture’s leadership has been delayed by a strategy crisis and change of CEO at Thyssenkrupp, which has said it would split into two companies.
The hold-up has riled the Thyssenkrupp workforce. A labour leader on Wednesday had said there would be “trouble” if the matter was not resolved soon.
Andreas Goss, head, Thyssenkrupp’s steel unit, is the front runner to become chief executive of the combined entity, which will be Europe's second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, the people said.
The new company will have around 48,000 workers, and about ^17 billion ($19.4 billion) in sales, with production facilities in Germany, the Netherlands and Britain.
Goss, seen as well connected in the industry, has led Thyssenkrupp's steel division since 2014. The unit's adjusted operating profit rose 26 per cent to ^687 million over the last financial year.
His appointment would further strengthen Thyssenkrupp's position in the 50-50 JV, which already includes a greater share of proceeds should the entity be listed on the stock exchange. The listing is widely expected.
Signed in June, the planned entity still needs European antitrust approval, which is expected towards the end of the first quarter of 2019. The groups might have to divest assets to secure approval, sources had previously said.
Hans Fischer, chief executive of Tata Steel's European subsidiary, is also likely to join the venture's management board, the people said, adding it was unclear how many seats the board would have.
Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel in June said the JV’s management board would consist of six members, shared equally between both the groups.
The number could be reduced to four to give a more focused structure to the entity, which will be called Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, the people said. A decision will be announced very soon, they added.
Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Guido Kerkhoff said last month a decision on the JV's leadership would be made before Christmas.
“The JV would have a twotier management structure, comprising a management board and a supervisory board,” a Tata Steel spokesman said. “Both boards would have equal representation from Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel," he said, adding further announcements will be made “in due course”.
When asked about the issue, a spokesman for Thyssenkrupp referred back to Kerkhoff's remarks.
The new company will have around 48,000 workers, and about $19.4 bn in sales, with production facilities across Europe