Dutch mixed feelings on Corus takeover (update)

Dutch reaction to the takeover of Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus by India’s Tata Steel was cautiously optimistic today although some employee organisations are concerned that the high price paid – 608 pence per share – could have a negative impact on the company’s investment plans and jobs.

Corus chief Philippe Varin told ANP this morning that he could not guarantee that there will not be any job cuts following the Tata’s takeover but spoke of a ‘win-win situation’. ‘With Tata we have access to iron ore and cheap labour. This gives us a competitive position on the worldwide steel market,’ he said.
But the FNV trade union and the central workers council at Corus at IJmuiden are worried about the consequences of the high price Tata had to pay for Corus.
‘This puts extra pressure on the debt burden. The question is whether this will be at the cost of investment plans,’ the FNV’s Jos Duijnhoven told ANP. He said that the mood among Corus workers was not positive.
‘The money [to repay the loan] has to come from somewhere and we’ll be victims,’ said one worker quoted by ANP. Some 9,500 people work at Corus in IJmuiden.
Tata beat its Brazilian rival CSN for Corus in an auction in London on Tuesday night. The total value of the deal was €8.7bn. The merger of Tata and Corus will create one of the biggest steel combines in the world.

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