FRANKFURT: German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp said on Friday it was scrapping merger plans with Indian steel giant Tata and would slash 6,000 jobs worldwide in a structural shakeup.

The German group said “continuing concerns” from the European Commission had sunk its bid to join its steel business in Europe with Tata’s.

The Indian company said in a separate statement that both “partners assume with deep disappointment that the European Commission will not approve the joint venture”.

The aim of the merger had been to create the second largest European steel company behind multinational giant ArcelorMittal and to join forces in the face of the surge of Chinese steel.

Having shelved the plans and ruled out offering more concessions to Brussels in order to get a green light, Thyssenkrupp said it was now aiming for a stock market listing of its elevators business as part of a restructuring.

CEO Guido Kerkhoff said Thyssenkrupp’s “new group-wide” programme would also include “the reduction of 6,000 jobs” with 4,000 to be cut in Germany and the rest abroad.

While Kerkhoff said while the company had a “good tradition of avoiding compulsory redundancies”, he admitted “this time it’s a difficult process”.

Thyssenkrupp faces “a situation where we had to make this major change, because it is the right decision for the company now in the changed frame conditions”, he added.

The group had planned 4,000 job losses, half of them in Germany, if the merger had been successful, but its collapse means the conditional agreement already negotiated with the unions “is no longer valid”, admitted Kerkhoff.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2019