Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The union representing ThyssenKrupp AG workers is “very far” from agreement with Outokumpu Oyj over a deal to acquire the German company’s Inoxum stainless steel unit, a labor official said.
Unions want guarantees that there will be no firings in the event of a takeover and insist that Outokumpu invest in Inoxum sites in Bochum, Krefeld and Benrath instead of closing plants, Andreas Huegelow, a spokesman for the IG Metall labor union, said by phone yesterday. The discussions are “very difficult,” he said.
Negotiations that started Jan. 27 with the companies “may last well into the night or even the early morning hours,” Huegelow said by phone. “The labor position and that of Outokumpu are very far apart,” he said. If no agreement is reached, ThyssenKrupp’s labor representatives may vote against the sale in a supervisory board meeting this afternoon, Huegelow said.
ThyssenKrupp is nearing the sale of Inoxum to Espoo, Finland-based Outokumpu in a deal valued at about 2.7 billion euros ($3.5 billion), Die Welt reported in a pre-release of an article to be published today, citing unidentified people close to the company.
As part of the transaction, ThyssenKrupp would acquire just less than 30 percent of Outokumpu, receive a cash payment and transfer Inoxum’s liabilities to Outokumpu, the newspaper said.
Kari Tuutti, a spokesman for Outokumpu, declined to comment on the report. “All I can say is constructive negotiations continue,” he said. A spokesman for ThyssenKrupp, who asked not to be named in line with company policy, declined to comment.
With assistance from Kati Pohjanpalo in Helsinki.
--With assistance from Kati Pohjanpalo in Helsinki. Editors: Jessica Resnick-Ault, Will Wade
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