The joint venture with German Giant Thyssenkrupp AG in early July was expected to serve as a rescue line for Tata Steel Europe.
The Indian steelmaker was struggling in the European market for the last decade, since the financial downturn, and cheap Chinese exports had added to TSE's piled-up losses. So much so that the company had begun cost-cutting, retrenchment and shedding non-core assets and even considered selling all the assets it gained in the 2007 Corus acquisition.
When the Thyssenkrupp JV came to the table in 2016, it demanded a higher share - 55 per cent of the proceeds if the joint venture launched an IPO. At the time Tata group Chairman, N. Chandrasekaran said the deal would help the group refocus on growth in the domestic market.
Now, the German group's CEO, Heinrich Hiesinger, and Chairman Ulrich Lehner have quit. Interestingly Hiesinger had faced criticism because he pushed for the Tata JV and Lehner supported him.
Now where does that leave Tata Steel?