Tata Steel ‘Eyes Acquisitions in Indonesia’

NEW DELHI ~ Tata Steel, India’s largest steelmaker, may expand by buying firms in Southeast Asia after two major deals already this year, including a takeover of Anglo-Dutch firm Corus, a report said.

Managing Director B. Muthuraman told the Mint business daily that his company was interested in buying mines as well as factories to expand its range of products.

“We are looking for acquisitions in the steel wires business in Indonesia and Southeast Asia,” he told the newspaper.

“Apart from expansion in capacity, we also want to move into high grade, higher-value add wires used in tire cords and oil tempered wires through acquisitions.”

Tata is among several steel companies seeking to consolidate the fragmented industry and last month announced it had taken a minimum 65-percent stake in a Vietnamese steel plant joint venture estimated at US$3.5 billion.

The complex will use raw materials from the Thach Khe iron mine, in which Tata will hold a 30-percent stake.

The firm also bought Anglo-Dutch steel group Corus in a $13.7-billion deal, catapulting it to sixth-largest global steelmaker from 56th, in a deal completed on April 2.

The company has forecast global steel demand for the year would rise by 5.9 percent to 1.179 billion tons.

The merged Tata Steel-Corus company, with steel production of 25.6 million tons annually, is part of the Tata Group, the largest business conglomerate in India, with interests in steel, automobiles, telecommunications, information technology, energy, tea and hotels.

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