The Dutch and British arms of Tata Steel are to be separated, 20 years after Hoogovens and British Steel merged to form Corus, the Indian multinational has confirmed in a statement.
The company has initiated the process to separate Tata Steel Netherlands and Tata Steel UK and will pursue separate strategic paths for the Netherlands and UK business in the future, the statement said.
At the same time, Tata Steel said it has initiated discussions with SSAB of Sweden about it acquiring Tata’s Dutch business including IJmuiden steelworks. SSAB too has issued a press statement saying it is in talks on taking over Tata Steel Nederland’s IJmuiden steel mill and related downstream assets.
‘SSAB has participated in several different discussions concerning consolidations in the European steel industry,’ the statement said. ‘The discussions with Tata are on-going but no decisions have been made. There can be no certainty that any transaction will materialise, nor as to the terms of any such potential transaction.;
Tata Steel is considered an essential industry in the Netherlands and is outperforming the British arm, even though turnover has dropped 20% because of problems facing the car industry.
Frits van Wieringen, chairman of the central works council, told Nos that ‘the divorce is underway’.
In April Tata Steel said it was delaying a planned reorganisation of its European arm until July at least, because of the coronavirus crisis. The company had wanted to cut 3,000 jobs and slash costs in an effort to restore profitability. Almost 1,000 of the 11,000 jobs in IJmuiden would have been scrapped.
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