Thyssenkrupp expects to receive in the course of the week a statement of objections from the European Commission regarding its planned joint venture with Tata Steel, it stated in e-mailed comments.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters that the charge sheet, which details areas of concern that need to be addressed for the deal to get approval, would likely be sent this week.
“As soon as the statement of objections has arrived we will thoroughly examine the Commission’s arguments,” a spokesman for Thyssenkrupp said, adding the group continued to be confident that the transaction could be closed in early 2019.
The joint venture, announced in June last year, is the biggest shake-up in Europe’s steel industry in more than a decade. To be named Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, the entity will have around 48,000 workers and about €17 billion (US$19.2 billion) in sales.
The deal, which took two years to get off the ground, is aimed at creating synergies and reducing overcapacity and will form the continent’s second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal.
The EU competition enforcer opened an in-depth investigation last year and identified issues in steel for car parts, packaging such as food and aerosol cans and electrical steel for engineering products including transformers.