EU approves deal to create largest steel maker

Updated: 2012-11-12 17:16

By Du Juan (

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The European Commission has approved the merger of Finnish stainless steel maker Outokumpu Oyj and ThyssenKrupp AG's stainless steel arm Inoxum, which will lead to the largest stainless steel company in the world.

The commission said last week that the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Following the green light for the merger, a new "world market leader in the stainless steel sector" will be formed, according to a statement from German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.

"The combination of Inoxum and Outokumpu marks an important milestone in the implementation of our strategic development program," said Heinrich Hiesinger, executive board chairman of ThyssenKrupp.

"The approval represents an important step on our path to becoming a diversified industrial group," he said.

The transaction agreement values Inoxum at an enterprise value of approximately 2.7 billion euros ($3.4 billion), according to German media reports.

The merger will give the newly formed company the capacity to produce 3.5 million tons of cold-rolling steel a year, said Mika Seitovirta, chief executive of Outokumpu during a previous exclusive interview with China Daily in May.