Thursday 22 August 2019 2:47 pm

Thyssenkrupp pushes back against EU's steel merger block

Thyssenkrupp has filed a complaint against regulators after they blocked a joint venture with Tata Steel earlier in the summer.

The German steel making giant is disputing the antitrust decision by the European Commission to veto its plans to forge Europe’s second-biggest steelmaker over fears it would reduce competition.

Read more: Thyssenkrupp issues another profit warning amid manufacturing slump

The company, which this month issued its fourth profit warning of a torrid year, employs more than 160,000 people across more than 600 divisions, whose functions include making submarines, elevators and steel parts for the automotive industry. It brought in €34.8bn (£25.7bn) revenue in 2018.

Thyssenkrupp’s complaint, which is likely nothing more than a symbolic move, will go to the General Court of the European Union.

The commission was concerned the two firms’ combined position in steel production for the car and packaging industries. Thyssenkrupp made proposals to remedy this, but Brussels ruled they were insufficient.

Thyseenkrupp said: “In its competitive assessment of the product groups of packaging steel and hot-dip galvanized steel for the automotive industry, the Commission has for the first time set out a restrictive market definition that unduly extends the scope of the existing competition law.”

Read more: Thyssenkrupp warns 6,000 jobs could go after regulator scuppers European steel merger

Separately, a host of private equity giants are said to be circling the German conglomerate’s elevator business, which chief executive Guido Kerkhoff has agreed to consider selling in a bid to turn the company around. 

German publication Manager Magazin reported funds including Advent, Apollo, CVC, Carlyle and KKR are interested in the business. Informal talks are already said to be taking place.

Main image: Getty