Tata, Thyssenkrupp agree steel merger

Germany’s industrial giant Thyssenkrupp (pictured)  and India’s Tata Steel agreed a merger deal to become Europe’s second-biggest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, reports say. The new 50-50 joint venture called Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel to be based in the Netherlands will employ 48,000 people at 34 sites worldwide and produce around 21 million tonnes of steel per year for revenues of around $17 billion in sales. The two companies hope to make annual savings of between $468 million and $585m. They had signed a memorandum of understanding in September. The final agreement would be signed shortly. The deal comes as European steelmakers face stiff tariffs of 25% on their exports to the US and shares in European steelmakers ArcelorMittal, Thyssenkrupp, Salzgitter and Voestalpine have fallen 8% to 17%. Thyssenkrupp sought the deal to overcome challenges caused by cheap Chinese steel. It is good news for steel and trailblazing for the firm’s future, Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe Chief Andreas Goss said.