Jobs to go as steel merger gets EC green light

Up to 3,000 jobs are expected to go from the combined British Steel and Hoogovens groups following the merger of the British and Dutch steel companies. Cuts will be made in shared central functions such as sales, distribution and technology. No plants are expected to close, however. The £3bn merger, which will create Europe’s largest […]

Up to 3,000 jobs are expected to go from the combined British Steel and Hoogovens groups following the merger of the British and Dutch steel companies.

Cuts will be made in shared central functions such as sales, distribution and technology. No plants are expected to close, however.

The £3bn merger, which will create Europe’s largest steelmaker and the third largest in the world, with 70,000 employees, was this week given the go ahead by the European Commission and trade unions in Holland.

The merger was approved after the Commission examined the combined firm’s share of the tinplate supply market.

Other products and services provided by the groups were not likely to raise competition issues, the Commission added.

* Bids by British Steel and German steel association Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl to outlaw Irish government state aid payments to Irish Steel have been refused by the European Court of Justice. It ruled the Commission had been right to authorise the I£39m payment in 1996.