Tata Steel's talks with Klesch for long products biz sale in Europe ends

4 August 2015

Tata Steel's impending deal with Anglo-American entrepreneur Gary Klesch for the sale of its loss-making long products steel business has fallen through, increasing troubles for the debt-laden steelmaker in Europe.

Unabated Chinese imports and stubbornly highly energy bill were blamed for the unconsummated deal. Klesch told business daily Financial Times that he was withdrawing from the talks in frustration at the UK government's apparent lack of interest in old-economy industries.

"What is the industrial policy when it comes to energy or when it comes to the massive dumping of cheap Chinese steel?" Klesch told the newspaper. The UK government needed to address imports and energy costs issues urgently, in tandem with other European countries, if it wanted to retain a steel industry, Klesch added.

Tata Steel was in talks with the Klesch Group for about a year. The company wants narrow its focus to the more profitable strip business. It has already made the long-products division a separate subsidiary.

Tata Steel and Klesch Group did not immediately respond to email requesting comments.