Anglo-Dutch Tata Steel Europe has agreed to a merger with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp which will create Europe’s second-largest steel producer.
Regulatory agencies still have yet to sanction the merger, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year, Bloomberg news service reported. Unions, works councils and management have agreed to the transaction.
A significant part of the deal is that no compulsory redundancies are expected at the Tata Steel plant in IJmuiden. Tata Steel Nederland said it had ‘iron-clad’ employment guarantees through 2026. The seaside plant has a workforce of 9,300.
‘The joint venture not only addresses the challenges of the European steel industry, it is the only solution to create significant value added of around €5bn for both ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel due to joint synergies which cannot be realised in a standalone scenario,’ Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp, said in a company statement.
The combined steel maker will have annual turnover of some €15bn and employ 48,000. Headquarters will be located in the Amsterdam area. Tata is owned by the Indian Tata group.
The IJmuiden steel plant was founded 100 years ago as Hoogovens, a name it retained until relatively recently. In 1972 it merged with Hoesch as German steel producer but that alliance, called Estel, fell apart 10 years later.
In 1999, Hoogovens merged with British Steel to form Corus in a deal where the Dutch unit was weighted at only 38%. In 2008, Tata Steel of India acquired Corus for €6.4bn. The 2018 transaction with ThyssenKrupp is regarded as a ‘marriage of equals’.
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