January 27, 2017 / 12:56 PM / 2 years ago

Thyssenkrupp CEO says has no current plan B for steel

Heinrich Hiesinger, chief executive of ThyssenKrupp AG addresses the company's annual shareholders meeting in Bochum, Germany, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) is committed to pursuing a European merger with Tata Steel (TISC.NS) as it still sees progress in Tata’s efforts to free itself of a large UK pension deficit, Thyssenkrupp’s chief executive said on Friday.

“As long as we see dynamics, that there is progress ... there’s no sense in giving up this path,” Heinrich Hiesinger told shareholders at the industrial group’s annual meeting.

“The entity that could result, which would become the second-biggest steel producer in Europe with 20 million tonnes, is a very viable solution from an industrial point of view,” he said. “Therefore, since we see this dynamic ... there is no plan B.”

Earlier, Hiesinger said that Thyssenkrupp nonetheless continued to talk to “several” other steelmakers.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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