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Thyssenkrupp steel division, Kretinsky to exclude redundancies, newspaper reports

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has agreed there will be no redundancies as a result of a planned joint venture with German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp's steel division, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported on Saturday.

Spokespersons for Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe (TKSE), which employs 27,000, and for Kretinsky in Germany were not immediately available for comment.

An agreement safeguarding employment prospects, drawn up by TKSE's supervisory board, has been signed by top management and by Kretinsky, the newspaper said, naming group CEO Miguel López and human resources officer Oliver Burkhard, as well as TKSE CEO Bernhard Osburg and TKSE HR officer Markus Grolms, as signatories.

The Thyssenkrupp group plans to close the sale of a 20% stake in the steel division to Kretinsky by the end of September, while talks over the sale of an additional 30% in TKSE are continuing.

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TKSE is a top employer in Germany's industrial Ruhr area where the IG Metall labour union is powerful. The union has raised concerns over TKSE's funding requirements as it implements a costly transition to climate neutral steelmaking.

Labour representatives have warned of dire economic consequences for the region, should Kretinsky's plan lead to underfunding.

(Reporting by tom Kaeckenhoff and Vera Eckert, editing by Sharon Singleton)