India’s Tata Steel has dismissed suggestions that job cuts could stem from the steel firm’s deal to acquire Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus.

Tata Steel head of corporate communications Sanjay Choudry told just-auto: “The deal is not about job cuts, it is about creating a very competitive entity through synergies.”

Tata announced on Friday (31 January) that it had outbid rival Brazilian firm, Companhia Siderurgica Nacional CSN, to acquire Corus for GBP6.2bn ($US12.14bn). A UK-based takeover panel launched Tata’s bid, which had snowballed from an initial offer of GBP4.1bn in October.

Since the announcement, media, including Indian paper The Statesman, have questioned whether Tata might offset the costs of the move with redundancies. In addition, UK union GMB‘s national secretary Keith Hazlewood said, “GMB is worried that our thousands of members [at Corus sites in the UK] will be expected to foot the bill for the takeover with their jobs. Hopefully, now that the uncertainty is over we can have some stability and get on with making the company a success.”

Corus head of media Annanya Sarin said that auto supplies, which currently represent 16% of Corus’ sales, would “remain a key sector” with the supplier looking at opportunities to expand its business to new foreign markets.

She said: “Tata has said comprehensively that this merger is based on growth, not consolidation, and has not invested in this business to reduce production. If anything, this deal will give our plants more options and make them more competitive.”

Corus, which employs 47,300 people worldwide, including 24,000 in the UK at plants at Port Talbot, Scunthorpe and Rotherham, is currently ploughing GBP153m into a new manufacturing plant for auto supplies in the Netherlands, it said.

Last October, Corus secured a contract to supply precision-machined camshaft blanks for use in the manufacture of critical engine components of Volvo Trucks.

Joe Ayling