Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel near de­ci­sion on steel JV board: Sources

The Sunday Guardian - - Business - DUES­SEL­DORF/LON­DON REUTERS

Ger­many’s Thyssenkrupp and In­dia’s Tata Steel are close to de­cid­ing who will lead their planned Euro­pean steel joint ven­ture, four peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said on Fri­day.

Set­tling on the ven­ture’s lead­er­ship has been de­layed by a strat­egy cri­sis and change of CEO at the Ger­man in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate, which has said it would split into two com­pa­nies.

The holdup has riled the Thyssenkrupp work­force. A labour leader on Wed­nes­day said there would be “trou­ble” if the mat­ter was not re­solved soon. An­dreas Goss, head of 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 eu­ros ($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 by 26% to 687 mil­lion eu­ros over the past fi­nan­cial year.

His ap­point­ment would fur­ther strengthen Thyssenkrupp’s po­si­tion in the 50-50 ven­ture, which al­ready in­cludes a greater share of pro­ceeds should the en­tity be listed on the stock ex­change, which 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 have 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 joint ven­ture’s man­age­ment board would con­sist of six mem­bers, shared equally be­tween both groups.

That 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.

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