Thursday, January 04, 2007

Selling England by the Pound

Was the title of the fifth studio album by the 70's progressive rock band Genesis. It could have been a postscript for England in the the new millennium.

Whilst the trend started during the Thatcher years of the eighties, there has been no significant reversal of direction and as a country we continue to sell the with the enthusiasm of "born again car booters".

Large slices of UK businesses, manufacturers and even former public utilities are now owned by overseas companies, and there seems to be no indication that this trend will slow down.

I mention this, not because I am in principal in against the multinationalism, but to illustrate the difference in public and political attitude being seen over the potential acquisition of Corus by Tata or CNS, when compared with last years takeover of Arcelor by Mittal.

The French public, Government, employees and executives of Arcelor put up a spirited if at times ill conceived defense of the takeover. Contrastingly, I have seen little debate or criticism of the proposed takeover of Corus. I am not against the takeover personally, indeed I have already expressed my opinion concerning the inevitability of these "mergers". Is it good for Corus? probably. Is it good for the UK steel industry? unlikely.

A few senior Corus executives who hold significant shares will become very wealthy, a larger number of Corus employees will receive a "nice little windfall", but something tells me that it will be the last chapter in the long history of steelmaking in the UK.


Technorati tags: ,

No comments: