Tata Steel will “hive off” Tata Steel Netherlands from Tata Steel UK and “pursue separate strategic paths for both”, Koushik Chatterjee, the company’s executive director and chief financial officer indicated on Nov 13.
In a media statement on the company’s quarterly earnings, Chatterjee noted that talks had been initiated by SSAB Sweden regarding the acquisition of Tata Steel’s Netherlands business, which would include the IJmuiden steelworks.
SSAB released an official statement the same day noting it “has participated in several different discussions concerning consolidations in the European steel industry,” and that it was in discussions with the Tata Group for the acquisition.
In late October, German news agency Handelsblatt reported that SSAB had entered early-stage talks and expressed “serious interest” in acquiring the Dutch operations of Tata Steel Europe in IJmuiden and was also in talks with thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.
Commentators speculated that the mismatch in steelmaking capacities between SSAB and thyssenkrupp would make IJmuiden a much better fit for the Swedish group.
The IJmuiden steelworks has a liquid steelmaking capacity of 7.3mn mt per annum and can produce slab, hot and cold rolled coil, and coated strip products (galvanized coil and packaging steels).
IJmuiden has the convenience of its own seaport whereby steelmaking raw materials such as iron ore and coal can easily be unloaded with finished steel exported the other way.