December 14, 2008 / 4:05 PM / 11 years ago

Tata to merge Corus to cut UK costs - report

LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) - India’s Tata Steel (TISC.BO) is to merge its British unit Corus, formerly known as British Steel, in a cost-cutting move that could threaten thousands of UK jobs, a British Sunday newspaper reported.

The proposed merger next year would result in the creation of the world’s second biggest steel maker after ArcelorMittal ISPA.AS MTP.PA, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.

The plan could cause plant closures and job losses across the UK at a time when Corus and unions are trying to prevent redundancies by discussing potential pay cuts of up to 10 percent for the firm’s 25,000 workers, the newspaper said.

The move was part of plans by Tata to cut costs in the UK by 350 million pounds ($521 million) following the Indian industrial giant’s acquisition of Corus, which was agreed in 2006.

No-one from Corus was available on Sunday to comment.

Meanwhile, the Independent on Sunday newspaper said Corus was threatening to move its European operations to China unless governments overhauled carbon emission regulations.

The newspaper cited the group’s chief executive Philippe Varin as saying it would not continue to produce steel in Europe if it was forced to buy carbon dioxide credits on the market without help from governments to fund clean energy technology to improve its production processes. (Reporting by Philip Waller; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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