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Tata Steel Europe sees top-level resignations

Tata Steel Europe sees top-level resignations

Tata Steel Europe’s executive committee has shrunk following the recent resignations of chief commercial officer Karl Haider and executive director of human resources Tor Farquhar as the search continues for a buyer. Chief executive officer Henrik Adam and chief financial officer Sandip Biswas have been given additional charge of these roles. Chief technical officer Ernst Hoogenes, who is retiring, may not be replaced, officials said.

“The company will be focusing on performance and cashflows in immediate term. It is committed to arrive at a strategic and sustainable resolution for its European portfolio,” the company said in response to ET’s query.

Currently, the focus is on the process to separate Tata Steel Netherlands and Tata Steel UK, which is under way and discussions with the UK government by Tata Steel are ongoing, the company said.

People close to the company said costs, including management expenses, are being curtailed as Tata Steel seeks a solution to its European business, which has weighed heavily on its balance sheet.

Tata Steel is said to have resumed its search for a buyer for European portfolio. This came after talks with Swedish steelmaker SSAB on a possible acquisition of Tata Steel Europe’s integrated Ijmuiden works in the Netherlands ended two months ago. Top officials familiar with the development said cost-related issues have made the search harder.

SSAB said on January 29 that these talks had concluded.

“The company might not find a buyer this year, but they do have attractive options which depend on how desperate the company is… They have ArcelorMittal, clearly, or there are also a couple of Russian companies which might be interested in the asset,” said a research analyst requesting anonymity.

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