Tata Steel actively looking at expansion, informs N. Chandrasekaran at AGM
Tata Steel Ltd Chairman N. Chandrasekaran told the company’s shareholders at its annual general meeting on Tuesday that Tata Steel is actively looking at inorganic expansion as part of its growth strategy while it aims to ramp up capacity in India. At the same time, he warned that the short- to medium-term focus would be on paring debt.
“We are seriously looking at inorganic growth and scaling (up) the Kalinganagar plant,” said Chandrasekaran. When shareholders asked whether he would consider buying stressed steel assets including Essar Steel Ltd, which would give the firm a foothold in western India, he said he was open to everything.
Tata Steel has a current capacity of 24mt, including its European operations. India prospects remains bright for the business and will be the focus market in the near term, said Chandrasekaran, adding that the firm has earmarked Rs. 7,000 crore as capital expenditure for this fiscal.
Still, the firm wants to pare its debt in the short- to medium-term to a “sustainable” level, he said. Consolidated debt rose to Rs. 87,812 crore at the end of June compared with Rs. 83,014 crore three months ago. This has seen the company restructure its European operations over the past several quarters as well as explore a merger of that business with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG.