Europe – The European Commission has given the go-ahead to the proposed merger of Outokumpu and ThyssenKrupp’s stainless steel division Inoxum, on condition that the former sells Inoxum’s AST stainless steel operations at Terni in Italy as well as some European service centres. This divestment process will not prevent Outokumpu from closing the Inoxum transaction by the end of 2012, the Finnish company states.
Outokumpu’s CEO Mika Seitovirta says the deal will help the company achieve ‘significantly improved capacity utilisation rates’, as well as ‘annual synergy savings of approximately Euro 200 million and efficiencies that neither company could have achieved alone’.
At last week’s Stainless Steel and Special Alloys Committee meeting of the BIR world recycling body, its outgoing Chairman Michael Wright of ELG Haniel argued that the merger is important ‘because there has to be consolidation’ in the European stainless steel sector. ‘I don’t know what the alternative would be,’ he added in Barcelona.
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