The Swedish steelmaker SSAB would like to incorporate the Dutch branch of Tata Steel Europe. This is reported by the German Handelsblatt based on sources. Sweden would initially be in the market for Thyssenkrupp’s steel activities. Because there are more hijackers on the coast, SSAB as plan B would have looked at IJmuiden.
SSAB would not be interested in the British activities of Tata Steel Europe. Earlier rumours were circulating that SSAB would like to join Tata Steel Europe.
The situation in the European steel industry is not too rosy. Although worldwide demand for materials is constantly rising, sales in Europe are falling. Most countries do not need as much construction steel as China or India, because they have largely modernised their infrastructure. Moreover, more and more car and machine manufacturers are moving their factories outside Europe. This has led to enormous overcapacity in recent years, which has increased competition between companies.
According to Handelsblatt, all smelters are currently in the red. As a recovery is not in sight, several parties have begun talks on consolidation. Tata Steel saw a merger of European steel activities with Thyssenkrupp’s last year because of objections from the European Commission.
Steel makers are also affected by the coronacrisis and the difficult market conditions in the steel industry as a result of the virus outbreak. Tata Steel was not yet available for comment. Against Handelsblatt, the company refused to respond to the rumours.