Tata Steel says to continue talks to sell Europe long-products unit

13 August 2015

India's Tata Steel Ltd is continuing discussions to sell its loss-making long-products business in Europe, the company said on Wednesday, after talks with Swiss-based Klesch Group failed.

"I think it will be fair to say that we will require 4-5 months to at least understand the strategic options," said Koushik Chatterjee, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Tata Steel.

Tata Steel, Europe's second-largest steelmaker, said last week it had spun off the long-products unit, which makes items such as plates, sections and wire rods, into a standalone business to better pursue strategic options after talks with Klesch failed.

The company has been forced to cut costs and jobs following its ill-timed entry into Europe, where steel demand has languished after the financial crisis and clients have turned to cheaper imports.

On Tuesday, Tata Steel warned against "significant uncertainty" in Europe.

The company's long-products operation employs 6,500 people, mostly in Scunthorpe in the English midlands, and makes products for use in construction, railways, shipbuilding and engineering.