Tata Steel on Thursday said a final decision on merging its European business with German major Thyssenkrupp is yet to be taken, as the “strategic discussions” are still continuing.
Both firms have been in discussion for a merger of their steel businesses for almost over a year. The clarification has come in the wake of reports saying Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel may sign a deal this month.
Meanwhile, Germany’s economy minister has urged Thyssenkrupp to seek an agreement with its workers over plans to merge the group’s European steel operations with those of Tata Steel. A JV with Tata Steel is the preferred option of Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Officer Heinrich Hiesinger to restructure the group’s steel business, despite resistance from labour representatives, who fear thousands of job cuts.
On September 11, Tata Steel had announced that it has concluded a new agreement under which its UK business stands separated from the £15 billion British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).
“Tata Steel UK has received confirmation from the pensions regulator that it has approved a regulated apportionment arrangement in respect of BSPS,” it had said.
The pact, signed by Tata Steel with the trustee of the BSPS, will pave way for the Indian steel major’s merger with ThyssenKrupp. The merger would create the second-largest steelmaker in Europe.