2018 PREVIEW: EU steel sector poised for consolidation, but competition risks exist

By Reginald Ajuonuma / January 02, 2018 / www.metalbulletin.com / Article Link

Europe's steel industry is poised for significant consolidation in 2018, though the upside from the scaling back of overcapacity will need to be balanced by the requirement for competitive markets.

The New Year is likely to see the formal completion of the merger between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp's European steel operations. Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, in which both companies will hold a 50% stake, will be Europe's second-largest steel business, combining Tata's plants in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom with ThyssenKrupp's German assets. Thyssenkrupp also plans to sell Italian flat stainless steelmaker Acciai Speciali Terni (AST). But the prospects of a sale to a European buyer could be hampered by European Commission (EC) anti-trust rules.EC anti-trust issues are also jeopardizing the ArcelorMittal-led AM Investco consortium's proposed takeover of Italian steelmaker Ilva. The EC launched in November an investigation into the AM Investco Ilva bid on competition worries.Ilva's site in Taranto, southern Italy, is the largest-capacity single unit for the manufacture of hot-rolled coil in Europe and...

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