DUESSELDORF, Germany, May 17 (Reuters) - Tata Steel’s latest pensions deal in Britain does not lessen Thyssenkrupp workers’ opposition to a possible merger of the two companies’ European steel operations, Thyssenkrupp’s works council chief said.
“Now a joint venture really doesn’t make any sense,” Wilhelm Segerath told Reuters on Wednesday.
Tata on Tuesday agreed the main terms of a deal to cut benefits for its British pension scheme, which had been seen as a major stumbling block in the merger talks because Thyssenkrupp is opposed to taking on 15 billion pounds ($19.4 billion) in UK pension liabilities.
Under the deal, Tata will plough 550 million pounds into the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS). At the same time, Tata will give the BSPS a 33 percent equity stake in its UK business.
“That doesn’t remove the risk posed by the pension liabilities,” Thyssenkrupp’s Segerath said.
$1 = 0.7739 pounds Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Edward Taylor