EC again extends review of ThyssenKrupp-Tata JV deal

The European Commission has postponed for a third time the deadline for reviewing the joint venture deal between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel Europe — by seven working days until June 17, according to the EC’s website.

The EC did not explain the reasoning behind the decision and was not immediately available to comment when contacted.

A Tata Steel spokesperson said: “We continue our constructive discussions with the European Commission.”

“We remain confident that the merger of our European steel businesses with Tata Steel Europe will be cleared,” a Thyssenkrupp spokesperson said.

Another source close to the two companies expressed optimism that the EC would approve the merger. “As the new entity will become the region’s second-biggest steelmaker in Europe, the EC is checking all the details of the remedies,” the source said.

Thyssenkrupp and Tata presented at the beginning of April their package of solutions to the EC as part of the process of obtaining clearance for the proposed joint venture.

Neither the EC nor the two steel companies officially disclosed which assets were to be put up for sale, but according to market sources, the two companies proposed divesting their galvanizing lines for the automotive sector — the hot-dip galvanizing line of Thyssenkrupp Galmed in Spain and Tata Segal in Belgium.

According to sources, Tata’s packaging steel lines are also part of the divestment. Tata has two main steel packaging plants in Trostre, Wales and Duffel, Belgium, which combined employ over 1,000 workers making food and and beverage cans.

— Annalisa Vila