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ThyssenKrupp labor leaders ready to talk as merger decision looms - Report

Steel News - Published on Wed, 13 Sep 2017

Image Source: Reuters
Reuters reported that labor leaders at ThyssenKrupp said that they are willing to talk to management about an overhaul of the group’s European steel operations, but warned they remained opposed to a merger with Tata Steel.

Mr Wilhelm Segerath, head of ThyssenKrupp’s works council and member of the group’s supervisory board, said “We want to hear what ThyssenKrupp has to say. We want to know what ThyssenKrupp has in mind. A merger with Tata is no solution. It only serves to dump debt from ThyssenKrupp’s balance sheet. We won’t support that.”

Mr Segerath said that steel workers would protest against the plans on Sept. 22, two days before a supervisory board meeting.

Mr Detlef Wetzel, head of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe’s supervisory board, said: “We want to know what the board is planning. We will evaluate that and then decide.”

Cevian, ThyssenKrupp’s second-largest shareholder and backer of Mr Heinrich Hiesinger CEO, has not made up its mind about whether it will support his plans, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters following a report that said it was opposed. Mr Bjoern Voss, analyst at Warburg Research, said “From what I understand Cevian and management have so far worked in a consensual way. I find it unrealistic that the board has been working against a coalition of labor representatives and parts of the capital side.”

ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger is under pressure to present a deal to combine ThyssenKrupp’s and Tata Steel’s European steel operations after talks have dragged on for a year and a half. A merger is Hiesinger’s preferred option, and the company said this week a memorandum of understanding between the companies could be reached this month.

Labor representatives however suggest the group carve out and list its healthy assets to avoid what they fear will result in thousands of job cuts.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 13 Sep 2017
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